What is a good way to seek assistance from the PmWiki community, with the least possible waste of their time and effort, and the quickest positive outcome for respondents?
When you have an issue with PmWiki, Cookbook? recipes, Skins?, or the environment PmWiki is installed in, it is worthwhile to undertake some or all of the following preparations and precautions.
Review and research available information
- ensure you are, as much as possible, running the current version of all PmWiki, skins, and recipe software.
- review the current documentation for updates and changes
- search the PmWiki Issue Tracking System to see if the issue is already known about
- search the mailing lists
- search PmWiki
- inspect your current environment (see PHPInfo)
- check the file permissions
- check the troubleshooting guide
- there is help on specific PmWiki:error messages
- see the FAQ and PmWiki:FAQ candidate pages
Since a query may relate to any, or all, of
- environment (OS, web server, PHP)
- PmWiki (version), or recipes
- functionality of PmWiki or PmWiki documentation
the appropriate and accurate information will go a long way to isolating a cause and determining a solution
Reproduce the issue
The next step is to reproduce the issue in a different environment if it is feasible.
- the PmWiki test? pages are a good place to do this
- consider disabling all recipes in config.php. If the problem disappears add the recipes back in one at a time until the problem re-occurs
- another useful way is to create a group and use a group specific customisation to diagnose the problem
Having done all of this, and being none the wiser about your issue (although probably somewhat wiser about PmWiki) you could
- leave a query on the PmWiki:questions page
- post a message the the PmWiki mailing lists
- add a question to a
When making a request for help, feel free to
- provide a link to the wiki in question, and the problem in particular
- have an example of the issue on your wiki, or as a test? page on PmWiki
- provide edit access to the wiki example
- set the
$EnableDiagflag for that page to allow helpers to examine your environment
- if performance related, use the Stopwatch
- provide, where appropriate, version numbers of your OS, web server, and PHP being used
- provide, where appropriate, the PmWiki:version of PmWiki, and recipes
- provide one or more test cases
- provide links to the documentation you thought pertinent and used in your research (this will also facilitate updating of the documentation)
All of these things will greatly assist and incentivise those who wish to help you get to the nub of the problem without having to ask further probing questions.
PmWiki Issue Tracking System
If the issues turns out to be a software bug, performance issue, change request, enhancement, or feature request, the PmWiki Issue Tracking System (PITS?) is where you register it.
Again, all the above pertinent information should be placed in the issue report to assist in its resolution.
- How to report bugs effectively
- How to ask questions the smart way
- Suggestions for asking a question on help forums
- Core Rules of Netiquette
Categories: Debugging System tools
This page may have a more recent version on pmwiki.org: PmWiki:HowToGetAssistance, and a talk page: PmWiki:HowToGetAssistance-Talk.