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|Section 1: About Draconic|
|1.1||What is the purpose of Draconic? Who is it for?|
|1.2||Is Draconic going to suddenly disappear like so many other dragon sites?|
|1.3||Who runs Draconic, and why is it free?|
|1.4||What is the history of Draconic?|
|1.5||Where did the slogan "For Dragons, By Dragons" come from?|
|1.6||Why is the site called Draconic?|
|Section 2: Help and Technical Support|
|2.1||How can I change my username, password, or other info I supplied when creating an account?|
|2.2||When I click the name of another user, I see pictures and info about them. How do I set that up for my account?|
|2.3||How do I add a signature to my posts in the Forums?|
|2.4||Why are Forums signatures limited in size?|
|2.5||Why can't I upload an image to Draconic?|
|2.6||I forgot my username or password, what do I do?|
|2.7||What if I find a bug, have a problem with the site, or this FAQ doesn't answer my question?|
|Section 3: Draconic's Content|
|3.1||Will you post a link or banner to my homepage or shop on your front page?|
|3.2||Can I have my poem or picture added to the Poetry or Art sections?|
|3.3||Why do you post environmental/political messages in the News section?|
|3.4||Why don't you replace your Forums with a pre-fabricated system like phpBB?|
|3.5||Why don't you add new pre-fabricated systems like postNuke's gallery module?|
|Section 4: Regarding Dragons|
|4.1||What is a dragon? What makes someone a dragon?|
|4.2||Why do many dragons go through a period of hating humans?|
|4.3||Forget all that psychology crap, I still hate humans!|
|4.4||Are there real dragons out there? Can I transform into one?|
|Section 5: About KaniS|
|5.1||Who is KaniS?|
|5.2||Why does KaniS have a capital S at the end of his name?|
|1 About Draconic|
|1.1 What is the purpose of Draconic? Who is it for?|
|Draconic is targeted towards building a community of dragon otherkin, meaning anyone who feels their soul is that of a dragon, or otherwise linked to dragons. For otherkin dragons, we offer support, understanding, companionship, and ways to connect. Anyone is welcome to join Draconic, from dragon fans to plain ol' humans, as long as they are respectful and do not get in the way of the needs of our primary audience. To that end, roleplaying as a dragon in our community is not allowed. There are plenty of other sites where role players can go to have fun.
For a much longer explanation of Draconic's purpose, please visit the For Dragons section.
|1.2 Is Draconic going to suddenly disappear like so many other dragon sites?|
|Dragon sites, even major ones like alt.fan.dragons, seem to have a habit of suddenly disappearing. This disappearance can be temporary, or permanent. Draconic was guilty of this once, when a major backbone provider went out of business and suddenly cut access to all its DSL subscribers (including Draconic), forcing everyone to go through a multi-month process of reinstallation. We left the site down until the DSL was restored, but KaniS also learned that long outages like those are very distressing to the users, causing many to lose contact with their primary support group. So, the next time Draconic lost connectivity, we had the servers moved until our connection was restored, minimizing downtime.
KaniS will continue to his best to keep Draconic up. He's been doing it since 1998, and he sees no reason he would ever stop. Even if he did, he would find someone else to host the site and donate to them the machines that run it, so it wouldn't just disappear.
Draconic's web pages and database are backed up to tape storage at least once a week, with the tapes kept in a fire-safe box, so there is little chance of ever losing the site due to hardware failure or fire.
|1.3 Who runs Draconic, and why is it free?|
|Draconic was started by KaniS (aka Chris Dragon) as a personal project to help other dragons, because he knew how horrible it felt to think he was alone. Today, years later, he remains happy to pay the cost of servers and internet connection for the site. Although KaniS invested a lot of time up-front creating the software that runs Draconic, it no longer takes a lot of effort on his part to keep going (except when new features are created). Other dragons have volunteered to moderate the forums and handle new user authorization, both of which require a daily time commitment, so your thanks should go to them as well.|
|1.4 What is the history of Draconic?|
|In 1995, KaniS put up his personal web page entitled Sable Dragon's Dragon Page. It contained his artwork, programming, other pictures, and eventually, a huge number of links to dragon sites that KaniS collected (which took forever). KaniS started work at CollegeClub.com around the same time, and by 1997 he realized that many of CollegeClub's community features could greatly benefit the dragon community as well. He independently developed similar applications (no code from CollegeClub was directly copied) on his own server, and Draconic was launched in 1998 with an automated Links Database and user creation system. Four months later, a simple matchmaking system was added, followed two months later by forums. All of these systems were produced from scratch, before there was such a thing as pre-written plug-and-play forums and various other modules that lead to the numerous easy-to-setup cookie-cutter communities you see today. In fact, Draconic originally used its own scripting language called HTPW that was developed before ASP and PHP were invented. We've been around from the beginning, and we'll be around far into the future.|
|1.5 Where did the slogan "For Dragons, By Dragons" come from?|
|That was a phrase KaniS made up in late 1997. We have since seen it tweaked and copied to other sites, but it originated here. In case you're wondering, we'd rather people not steal the slogan, though we're flattered it seems worthy of stealing.|
|1.6 Why is the site called Draconic?|
|KaniS originally wanted to call the site Dragonfire, mainly because he had done a cool-looking logo in an art class that said Dragonfire. Unfortunately (or fortunately), dragonfire.org had recently been purchased for use by the alt.fan.dragons newsgroup (what does dragonfire.org have to do with alt.fan.dragons, anyway?). So, KaniS went searching through available domain names, and draconic.com was his favorite of the ones available. Today, he is glad he didn't call the site Dragonfire, and he feels that the name of Draconic is quite appropriate to the goals of the community. Plus, it just sounds cool!|
|2 Help and Technical Support|
|2.1 How can I change my username, password, or other info I supplied when creating an account?|
|Go to the home page of the site and click Edit account info, near the top of the page. If that link is not visible, you may need to click Log on first.|
|2.2 When I click the name of another user, I see pictures and info about them. How do I set that up for my account?|
|You may upload pictures of yourself and enter many other details by creating a profile in the Find a Dragon section. Creating a profile does not mean anyone can find you using the Find a Dragon matching system. To be found you, you must create "relationship criteria" for each type of relationship you are looking for.|
|2.3 How do I add a signature to my posts in the Forums?|
|You may upload a picture and set the text of your signature using the Forums preferences page. There is a link to this page at the top left of the Forums page that displays the list of threads in each topic. The preferences page also allows you to do many other things such as hide your e-mail address in your posts and set how large a box to use when composing messages.|
|2.4 Why are Forums signatures limited in size?|
|Larger signatures, especially tall ones, make Forums require a lot more annoying scrolling to navigate. Furthermore, large signatures distract from the content of posts, often being more noticable than whatever the poster has to say. To prevent these two problems, the size of signature text and image combined is calculated and limited by the system. figuring out how to code that system was not easy, so if you try to bypass the signature size limit by manually pasting a large signature into your posts, we will be most displeased.|
|2.5 Why can't I upload an image to Draconic?|
|The most common reason that image uploads fail is due to trying to upload an overly-large image. The maximum size allowed for image uploads depends on where you are trying to upload the image. Forum signature images are limited to 75k (that's 76,800 bytes), Find a Dragon profile images are limited to 200k (204,800 bytes), and other areas of the site may have different limits posted. Attempting to upload an overly-large image could cause a timeout that results in strange error messages that do not tell you that your large image was the cause of the timeout. The same kind of timeout could also occur if your internet connection is abnormally slow. In that case, try again later.
If you have verified that your image is smaller than 200k and you do not see an understandable error message indicating why it won't upload, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2.6 I forgot my username or password, what do I do?|
|Please do not create another account. Click here and enter your username or the e-mail address you have set up for your account. If you do not remember either of these things, send e-mail to email@example.com and include as much information about your account as you can remember (such as the name you used, age, old e-mail addresses, and so on).|
|2.7 What if I find a bug, have a problem with the site, or this FAQ doesn't answer my question?|
|E-mail your bug or question to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the case of bugs, please try to be as detailed as you can regarding what you did to encounter the bug. Above all, if you saw an error message, try to copy and paste the message into the email.|
|3 Draconic's Content|
|3.1 Will you post a link or banner to my homepage or shop on your front page?|
|No, we have never displayed advertising of any sort on Draconic and do not see why we ever would. Links to shops or other dragon sites should be added to the Links Database where they will be rated by our members so that the best sites can be easily identified. Although we are occasionally offered banner exchanges, we do not wish to give any particular site special treatment by adding links to it outside of the Links Database.|
|3.2 Can I have my poem or picture added to the Poetry or Art sections?|
|No, we are no longer adding anything to those sections. They are slated to be replaced with member-voted poetry, stories, and art from the Forums.|
|3.3 Why do you post environmental/political messages in the News section?|
|This particular issue turned into a big debate and was voted on twice by the members. Both votes showed majority support for this form of content, and now that you can choose what types of news you want to see via News Prefs, we see no reason it should cause any more controversy. KaniS believes that many dragons feel a connection to nature and do not see humans as having a greater right to life and health than other earthly creatures. Therefore, environmental issues tend to be important to dragons. Many dragons feel trapped in bodies or genders not of their choosing, and this leads to political issues such as gay marriage rights also affecting the happiness of many dragons. These are the issues we try to bring to light on Draconic.|
|3.4 Why don't you replace your Forums with a pre-fabricated system like phpBB?|
|Although the pre-fabricated systems may have a few more features than our Forums, two user votes have both indicated that they would rather keep what we have now. Our forums are part of what makes us unique, along with all the other custom-written code you will find here and nowhere else. Many people even indicated they prefer the format and features of our forums over others they have seen, despite the lack of a few features. Our Forums continue their evolutionary development, and eventually they should have all the important features of any other message board system out there.|
|3.5 Why don't you add new pre-fabricated systems like postNuke's gallery module?|
|That is something we are slowly working towards. Unfortunately, Draconic began as a Windows application on IIS, and it is not easy to move away from that technology. Part of the reason we began migrating from ASP to PHP was in the hope of using pre-fabricated systems for some new features, but we have found that those features often require you to run them in a unix/Apache/mySQL/postNuke environment. We may migrate to such a configuration in the distant future, but for now, we are limited in what pre-fabricated systems are compatible with Draconic.|
|4 Regarding Dragons|
|4.1 What is a dragon? What makes someone a dragon?|
|Think of how different the various human cultures around this world are. This is just one world. Dragons come from all over the universe and even from other planes of existance. Given this, why do so many people assume all dragons are the same?
Dragons come in all personalities and dispositions. Some think of dragons as noble, wise, intelligent creatures (KaniS's favorite definition), while others think of them as vile, stupid, violent beasts. Given all the dragons in the universe, both of these definitions will hold true for some sub-set of dragons out there. We do not believe in trying to define what makes someone a dragon. Trying to define some core set of qualities that all dragons have in common is a recurring topic of discussion on Draconic, but no set of qualities common to all dragons has ever been found. The best one might be able to determine, using statistical analysis, is that most dragons possess certain qualities, but even this sort of information tends only to create stereotypes and is not useful when getting to know any particular individual dragon.
The shape of the physical body is about as close as you can come to defining what is and is not a dragon. Yet, even physically, it can be hard to draw the line between dragon and non-dragon. Are dragons covered with fur still dragons? Skin? Does removing horns or wings make someone a non-dragon? Anthro form? Throw on a bird's head? Add tentacles? It can get very confusing, and different people will draw the line at different characteristics.
This is all part of the reason we allow anyone to join Draconic. If you took a so-called "draconity test" and scored low on it, forget about it. Such tests are meaningless and only define dragons based on the narrow conception the test-author has of them. The bottom line is that if you honestly believe yourself to be a dragon, and it isn't something you go out trying to prove because you want to fit in to a dragon community or you have some other ulterior motive, then you probably are a dragon. Beyond that, being a dragon is something which is very difficult to define or categorize.
|4.2 Why do many dragons go through a period of hating humans?|
|Dragons who identify as dragon in spirit often feel a varying level of disconnection from the humans around them. Because of this, they may be bullied in school, or they may simply see things differently and not enjoy or understand the things that other children do. This often results in a "dragon" versus "human" mentality where the dragon may feel depressed and alone, hatred towards their human persecutors, or even a sense of being an elite and superior species. After a period of feeling this way, dragons generally reach a final stage where they realize that not all humans are the same, and they find ways to interact and cooperate with humans without feeling their draconity is threatened.
Alternatively, many people may eventually realize that they were not dragons in the first place. Children who are outcast for any number of reasons may turn to a group such as dragon otherkin seeking acceptance and support while they figure out their own identity. This is perfectly normal, but is often accompanied by an overly-strong expression of pride at being dragon and a hatred of things non-dragon that can be upsetting to other humans and dragons alike.
We have noticed that these stages of draconity are very similar to the stages of "coming out" as a gay person in America:
The similar stages of understanding and accepting one's draconity are just and time consuming and difficult as accepting a gay gender identity. Draconic is here to provide a community that supports and helps this process, and we hope that each dragon will eventually reach a stage of identity synthesis where they can be content and productive in whatever human society they live in.
|4.3 Forget all that psychology crap, I still hate humans!|
|This particular attitude is strongly discouraged on Draconic. Animosity towards the group that oppresses you may be a natural step in the psychology of being a member of any marginalized culture (dragon, gay, black, etc), but it is a step we hope our members will strive to work through as quickly as possible.
The most helpful thing we can point out is that not all humans are the same, and most people will do the right thing when they are educated and made to truly understand the various horrible things we, as dragons, may see happening in the world. Remember the Vietnam war, when hundreds of thousands of 'hippies' protested pointless bloodshed? Today, it may seem that people care less about modern injustices, but this is rooted more in what the media shows us than in some inherent human nature. In the 70s, people protested the Vietnam war because the media showed the true horrors of the fighting. Today, we mainly see footage of missiles blowing up buildings and we hardly dare mention the names of the soldiers who are dying. This sort of media control is at the heart of America's lack of understanding of various political and environmental issues. History has proven that an educated population can be a powerful force for good, while a brainwashed population can commit horrible evil. Just think of the Nazi movement and the coalition who put an end to it.
|4.4 Are there real dragons out there? Can I transform into one?|
|We know how painful it can be to want to be a dragon in body. Not all dragons go through this longing, but for others, it can become an obsession. The pain can lead to wishful thinking, and we have heard many claims of individuals who can transform, or various dates predicted when magic would sweep the world and give us all our trueforms. In each case, the date has passed uneventfully, or the person who claimed they could transform was proven to be a liar.
A fair number of dragons have memories of being dragons on Earth, generally in the distant past. This could mean that dragons were once here, or these memories could be false, memories of another place that looks similar to Earth, or memories that are tainted by constant exposure to Earth's environment. Whatever the truth of the matter, without fossil evidence of a vertebrate six limbed creature of any type ever existing on Earth, we do not believe that dragons evolved here or were ever here in any great number. If they are or were here, they almost certainly came from another place as colonists or explorers. We have seen no reliable evidence to prove or disprove that dragons have ever been on Earth.
Although we think it is unlikely that there are still dragons on this world or any means of transforming into one, we still welcome anyone who is willing to come forth and present true evidence to the contrary. If you would like to keep such a thing a secret between you and our staff (or just KaniS), we will not reveal anything to the community beyond the fact that dragons or shape shifters are here, somewhere, even if we are not allowed to say where. Knowing just that much would be a great comfort to many individuals and allow the truly dedicated to pursue their own investigations and find their own happiness in time.
In the absence of evidence, we urge our members to be cautious with anyone claiming to have knowledge of physical dragons. Such claims are often a tool used to get attention, and anyone who makes them falsely will be subject to banning from the community.
|5 About KaniS|
|5.1 Who is KaniS?|
|I (KaniS) am the dragon who started Draconic and am responsible for creating virtually all the programming code that runs it. You might not know that unless you're reading this FAQ because I try to stay out of the spotlight. I'm happier coding away at the computer or spending a bit of time with people I care for. I'm quiet, wacky (when the mood strikes), patient, and mostly happy just doing my own thing. Groups used to scare me, but as I enter my third decade on this world, I'm fairly comfortable in any situation. Yet that doesn't mean I enjoy socializing. If you're like me, you will be told by the social types that you need to get out more, talk to people, etc. Indeed, doing so can be greatly beneficial to you in the form of networking contacts and being successful in society. Yet I don't think a lot of people understand that not everyone _enjoys_ socializing. It's not a recreational activity for me. In fact, it usually feels mildy stressful or like work, whereas what most people would consider work actually feels recreational to me.|
This is called having an introverted personality, and it's nothing that can be trained out of you or fixed. Introversion is not the same as shyness or lack of social skills, though all those traits tend to come together, at least at first. Introverts get their energy from inside instead of from others. Introverts work behind the scenes and are often the builders, like me who built Draconic. Introverts often don't get noticed or ask for credit or compliments. Sometimes we can seem aloof or uncaring of others... Usually that's just because we lack practice in social skills and is no reflection of our feelings. I often take a long time to respond to emails because answering them feels like work and I always feel behind on all the projects I want to get done. That doesn't mean I don't care or don't want to help. That's just the way it is. If I spent a lot of time on the socializing thing, Draconic wouldn't exist to socialize on.
The worst part of being an introvert is feeling most comfortable around other introverts, yet because we don't socialize much, other introverts are hard to find and hard to get to know. This is part of why I say learning some level of social skills is helpful, even if it is like work. Get over the shyness and practice the social skills and see if you then come to enjoy socializing. If not, you just might be an introvert.
|5.2 Why does KaniS have a capital S at the end of his name?|
|No, the S is not a typo. The sounds my species use to form words could not be represented with 26 letters, so upper and lower-case letters represent different sounds. In the case of my name, it ends up being pronounced how you would probably assume, as "can-ihss". Yes, it's a crazy system, but I didn't invent it, I merely adopted it. I don't know much more about it than that.|