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Advice for Seeking Help

Christopher Collins

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When asking for help with the client, bug or not - please remember we are not mind readers and do not know what you're using or what you're even trying.

There's an old standard with support which really helps when trying to provide somebody information to properly consider what advice you need - framed in the XSB context:

  • What do you have?
    • In the XSB context, generally your OS, X-Plane version and the XSB plugin version are a really good start.  Always give these in accurate terms - not just "the latest" or "X-Plane 11", but the full version numbers - e.g:  "XSB 2.1" or "X-Plane 11.41".
    • Detail about other plugins you have installed can also help since they can have an effect on things.
  • Who was involved?
    • VATSIM issues are sometimes tied to the other party - if the issue relates to traffic, voice communications, or anything else that involves other users, details about the other user can sometimes be relevant, or at least give us a starting point to chase that up.
  • What you have tried?
    • Outline the exact steps you have taken.  Don't try to abstract it down into high level steps - more detail is always better, particularly as sometimes the smallest things cause problems because somebody does something in a way we the developers didn't expect.
  • What you are seeing?
    • As literally as possible - don't try to interpret it.  Telling a developer or a power user that you're seeing "An error" tells them almost nothing.  Telling them the exact text of the error is far more useful, even if you don't understand it - they might.
    • Sometimes details in interactions ("I did this, and then I saw ... happen") can provide hints where the outcome ("it didn't work") does not.
  • What you were expecting to happen?
    • More important when you're chasing up something that didn't happen the way you thought it should - but sometimes the software doesn't behave in the way that you expect it to, but we don't realise that your expectation doesn't match the behaviour, or that you're going the wrong way about achieving something.  Outlining your expectation helps us all provide you guidance towards your actual goal, rather than just the specific point you raised.

The more information you provide up front, the more likely you are to get a useful answer.

The X-Plane Log.txt is also an invaluable source of information as it can provide very accurate answers for "what you have" and "what you were seeing".  Sometimes it'll reveal information about "who was involved" and "what you have tried".  Always consider it a supplement to support your statements - there are some details it doesn't capture that we can only guess if you don't tell us.

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XSquawkBox - Developer/Maintainer


Please post any support related questions to the XSquawkBox support forum rather than private messaging me, thanks.

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