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Getting support in Launchpad

When you're having a problem with a project hosted in Launchpad, you can use the Answer Tracker to request help from the community.

To ask a new question, you first have to navigate to the project you'd like support with. From any pages related to that project you access the Answer Tracker by clicking the Answers link.

This will display a listing of existing questions asked on that project (and you could search or browse that listing to find your problem). You can ask a new question by using the Ask a question button. There is also an Ask a question button on the project's Overview page.

Asking a new question, part 1: searching for similar questions

The first step is to enter a brief summary of your problem. A short sentence containing 3 or 4 keywords describing the issue will work best. This will be used to find a list of existing questions. Don't worry about entering common words like 'the', 'and', or 'in': all common words are ignored for purposes of the search.

Take the time to look at the similar questions presented to you to see if it hasn't been answered before. Pay special attention to questions marked Answered or Solved, since if it's a similar question, they may contain an answer to your problem.

Tip: The beginning of the complete question description will appear in a small pop-up if you leave your mouse over the question's title.

Asking a new question, part 2: posting your question

If you don't find a matching problem in the list, then just enter a detailed description of your problem in the text box. Enter as much contextual information as you can: steps that you have taken to resolve your problem, version of the programs you were using, etc.. This will make it easier for somebody to answer your problem. If you don't provide enough information, users will have to request that information from you.

Once you're satisfied with the content of your question, just click on the Add button... and wait for your answers to show up!

Following-up on replies

You'll be notified by email when somebody replies to your question. The person will either ask you to provide more information or offer an answer to your problem.

Replying to a request for more information

If the reply is a request for more information, you can just hit your email client 'Reply' button and enter the requested information in the email. Or you can visit the question page (the link is included in the notification email) and provide the information using the web form at the bottom of the page. In that case, enter the information in the text box and click on the Provide more information button.

When the answer didn't work

If the reply contains an answer, it would be appreciated if you provide feedback on its quality. If the answer doesn't solve your problem, you'll want to reopen your request: once an answer is given, its status is changed so that the people doing support know that an answer was already provided on your question. You can reopen your question by replying to the email, explaining what worked and what didn't work with the answer. You can also use the web form by visiting the question's page. There. you enter the feedback in the text box at the bottom of the page and then click the I'm still having this problem button.

When the answer worked

If the answer solved your problem, you should use the confirmation link included in the email. (You can't currently confirm that the problem is solved by email... yet, see bug75759.) On the displayed web form, you can enter a thank you note if you like. You click on the 'This solved my problem' button to confirm that the answer solved your problem. That will credit the answerer as having solved your problem, and as an added bonus, it helps Launchpad build a database of good answers.

But I forgot to track what I need to reply to!

It is common for your INBOX to be a busy place these days. So, if you've lost some notification emails, don't worry. You can always find the questions on which your input is needed by visiting the Needs attention report. This report is available under the Answers tab of a project, or under the Answers tab of your home page on Launchpad. In the latter, it will display all the questions waiting for your input across all projects, and in the former, the report will list only the questions needing your input in that particular project.

You can provide the needed feedback by using the web form that you'll find on each of these questions' pages.

If you find the answer yourself

Sometimes it happens that we find the solution to our problem just after hitting the Add button on the web form describing our problem. In these cases, please come back to add the solution to your question. This may help others who'll come after you and have a similar problem.

To do this, go to the page of your question. (Tip: if you can't remember where you posted it, use the Created link under the Answers tab of your home page. It will list all the questions you asked.) Enter the solution to the problem in the text box at the bottom of the page and click the I have solved my problem button. This will mark the question as solved, and you'll be credited with the answer.

When nothing happens with your question

It can happen sometimes that you don't receive an answer to your question. This might happen for several reasons: nobody knows the answer to the question, or perhaps it is not clear from the question what the problem is. There is an unwritten law which says that as the questions gets older, the less chance there is that it will be noticed, and therefore, that it will get answered.

Because of this, instead of letting old questions accumulate as lint in the Open listing, Launchpad automatically expires non-answered questions after two weeks of inactivity. Inactivity here implies that no replies or new information have been provided for the last two weeks. When this happens, you'll get an email notification stating that your question was expired.

If you're still affected by the problem and you'd still like to get it answered, you may reopen the question so that it reappears on the non-answered listings. To do so, you may reply to the notification email, or you can use the web form by visiting the question's page (the link will appear in the email). There, just enter your message in the text box at the bottom of the page and click on the I'm still having this problem button.

If you want to improve your chances in getting an answer this time, you might want to provide additional information on your problem, adding steps you have followed when trying to solve it, or trying to rephrase it so it is easier to understand.

GettingSupportInLaunchpad (last edited 2008-06-17 14:21:20 by localhost)