Sugar Technology

Sugar Technology Forum
Guidance Notes

These notes have been prepared to help you. Please read them before starting to use the forum. If you want more help then try reading the Frequently Asked Questions. Return to Forum Home Page


The forum is specifically designed for sugar industry professionals but accepts applications from other interested parties. However, simplistic or repetitive questions are not appreciated so you are encouraged to do basic research first and to check in the records on the web interface that your question has not been asked before.

The forum is conducted by email and on the web so you can choose how you wish to participate. Basic membership involves using only email but you can still select [and change at a later date] whether to receive an email for each message posted or a daily digest of all messages for that day. Web membership allows you to view all of the past messages that have been posted and to administer your own preferences. You can also elect to receive no emails if you just want to use the web or if you want to turn off the email, for example when you are on holiday.

The forum is conducted in English but if you feel uncomfortable writing in that language please do not be put off, just follow the language rules.

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Forum Technology

This section is primarily aimed at people who are not used to working with forums.

In essence, a forum is a group of like-minded individuals who communicate with each other en bloc in order to discuss relevant issues. There are probably as many forum formats as there are forums on the internet so it is worth reviewing the arrangements for this particular forum.

The list of members and their contact details is kept by Yahoo! on a forum server which also handles the communication systems. Each member can select the way in which he communicates with the forum and his fellow members. It is possible to select email and/or the web. We encourage the use of both email and the web interface because email simplifies keeping up with developments and the web allows one to review past postings and to administer membership details personally.

Messages can be sent in [posted] by emailing the forum server at <> or by using a posting function on the web interface. There is no need to remember that address because it is the address sent out with every email : posting is as simple as answering an email. Messages are grouped by topics [usually called 'threads'] and the subject line carries the name of the thread. You can read more about this in the etiquette section.

When a message is sent in by a member it is held by the system which then contacts a moderator and asks for approval to post the message. The moderator will either give approval, with or without modifying it, or reject it. He will sometimes write to the member submitting a rejected message and suggest changes but if the rejection is for breaking the etiquette or other rules in some way then he won't bother.

Once a message is approved, the system will email it to all members registered as wanting immediate notification and will put it on the web interface at the same time. It will also add it to a running record of the day's postings so that at the end of the day it can email the daily digest to those members who prefer that method. Each new member is initially registered for email notification but can change that by using the web interface as described on the FAQ's page. If you do not have web access then please contact us and we will help you.

Responding to an incoming message, as we said above, is as easy as replying to the incoming email [whether notification or digest] using your email client [e.g. Outlook/Outlook Express, Eudora or Pegasus to name but a few].

The forum also has other functions which are worth noting: there is an area for uploading files, a calendar, a links page and there is a 'chat' facility.

  • The forum messages are simple text messages. Let us say that you want to show people a diagram or post a complete scientific paper : the answer is to upload it to the forum file area and then post a message on the forum telling people what you have done and what they should look for if they are interested.

  • We would like to see the calendar become the place to check out what is on in the industry. We have started by listing the better known congresses for the next 12 months.

  • The links page is intended for 'hot linked' web addresses useful to the industry. As time passes we will add some structure to it to simplify finding a particular type of link.

  • When you are online and logged into the web interface you can join a chat group by simply clicking on the relevant link. You will be able to see who else is in the group and watch people 'talking', hopefully joining in yourself.

Once the forum is fully established, we will institute regular chat times if members are interested.

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Because the forum is a private forum, you have to apply to be a registered member. In addition, because the forum is hosted by Yahoo!, you have to register separately with Yahoo! if you wish to use the web based interface.

Basic Registration

Registration is a multi-step process in order to protect you :

  1. We ask you to complete some simple details about yourself, including giving your email address;
  2. You are sent a system generated email asking you to confirm that you wish to register. This is to prevent someone else trying to register using false details;
  3. If you reply in the affirmative, you are registered in a secure membership file and sent a second system email to welcome you and confirm that you may start participating;
  4. If you reply in the negative, your details, which have been kept separately, are deleted;

The most likely problem which you may encounter during registration is that your application is rejected as a result of incomplete or non-complying fields. If this happens then you will be told what is wrong on the screen. Please remember that all fields must be completed and that the email address that you give must conform with the standard email format user@domain.tld.

We have incorporated a visitor facility to allow you to browse the forum's web interface before you decide about joining and before being fully registered but you will not be able to post a message as a visitor.

Yahoo! Registration

You have to be a registered Yahoo! user to be able to access the forum's web interface but first complete the basic registration. Yahoo! Registration is in two stages : joining Yahoo! and then linking your registration with the Sugar Technology forum. If you are already registered with Yahoo! as a user then go straight to the appropriate paragraph lower down this page.

To register with Yahoo!, go to and click on the "New Users click here to register" link. [Alternatively, when you are ready - read the next paragraphs first - you can click here for a direct link to the registration page.]

You will be asked to select a Yahoo! ID and password [you make up your own ID and password] before answering some simple questions so it is worth preparing before going in. Part of the password system involves a question and answer system in case you forget your password.

One of the fields to be completed is called 'Alternate Email'. It is expressed like that because Yahoo! assumes that the email address that it is about to create for you [Yahoo!] will be your main email address. If this is not the case, just put your main email address [or at least the one you intend to use for communicating with the forum] in this field. Please do not use an email address which is likely to have an auto-reply function on it : you will create spurious false postings!

To associate your Yahoo! membership with the forum is not required if you do select to use your new Yahoo! email address. Otherwise, go to the Yahoo! Groups home page [if you have just registered with Yahoo! then you should be there now] and select the "eGroups members Link your accounts to a Yahoo! ID here" link in the left hand column :

  • You will be asked if you have an eGroups password [you don't] and if not to enter your email address. Enter the address with which you registered for the forum and click on [continue].
  • You will then be asked for an authorisation code. When you clicked on [continue] the system mailed it to your email address so stay on line, check your email and get the code then go back to the web interface and enter the code, again clicking on [continue].
  • The next screen asks you to confirm your Yahoo! password and then completes the linking of your forum membership with your Yahoo! ID.
You will know that the job is done because the system will confirm the successful linking.

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The rules of etiquette of the forum are for your own good as well as for that of your fellow members. Please follow them.

The fundamental is that the forum is run as a service to the professionals of the sugar industry and the technologists - both field and factory/refinery - in particular. As professionals we do not want to waste our time. Blatant advertising is NOT allowed although there are courteous ways of indicating your product. The Moderator will not accept postings that break this rule.

At this stage the forum is conducted in English although foreign language contributions are welcome preferably when they include an approximate translation of the message into English. If you can make an attempt at English then the Moderator will tidy up the translation before posting the message so don't feel shy about the quality of your English, it will certainly be better than his command of your language. If you cannot even attempt to write in English then still send in your message because we are lucky enough to have help on hand from the Translations Group, an independent specialist.Translations Group

The simplest way to add to an existing thread is to reply to an email on that particular topic. In replying there are a few basic considerations to make your message easy to read :

  • DO copy the pertinent part of the previous message into your reply and place it first.
  • DO add to or modify the subject line if your message is substantially changing the topic.
  • DON'T copy all of the previous message and its predecessors [e.g. delete footers and other repetitive elements].
  • DON'T copy the previous message after your reply.
  • DON'T change the subject line if your point still relates to the main thread.
Similar considerations apply if you use the web interface to reply to a posting.

Links to other web sites, even commercial ones, are acceptable when built into messages as long as they relate directly to the ongoing discussion and will be of genuine benefit to the others involved in the discussion. Members are encouraged to include a 'signature' at the end of their postings, giving their name and affiliation - most email clients will allow you to do that with a simple key stroke. It is acceptable to include a commercial link within the signature but not to include any advertising material with it.

At a more technical level, HTML is not allowed and file attachments cannot be handled directly. However there is a file area on Yahoo where you can upload a file for anyone who is a member to view if they want to. Select the file area from the menu on the left hand side of the web interface. Using the file area is very easy, just follow the on-line instructions.

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As with any organisation there have to be a few rules, some of which are imposed by Yahoo! :

  • A disclaimer applies to this forum.
  • In addition to these rules, the Yahoo! Terms of Service and Groups Guidelines apply.
  • Postings remain the copyright of the member posting the message. Copying and re-distributing postings is not permitted except in the normal running of the forum.
  • By joining the forum, members accept both these rules and the Yahoo! rules.
  • SKIL reserves the right to suspend or ban members who deliberately break these guidelines or otherwise cause disruption to the forum.

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