Every day, BlackBerry® developers use the BlackBerry Developer Support Forum to get help when they get stuck. Every once in a while, a thread appears that epitomizes the peer to peer interaction we envisioned when we launched these forums. I want to share with you an example of how to optimize your initial post to a thread to ensure your problem gets the best possible attention.
On Wednesday August 22nd, jgobert started a thread called “App crashing when accessing email attachment…” His organization was upgrading to the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 smartphone running BlackBerry® Device Software 7.1.While testing out one of their custom, mission-critical applications, he discovered that the application was failing and throwing a ControlledAccessException. The very first post in this thread shows jgobert did his homework before posting. He supplied a ton of information about the problem including:
- basic details about what the application does
- what it was doing when it threw the exception
- a stack trace showing the exception being thrown
- application permissions
- BlackBerry Device Software versions where the application worked and where it didn’t.
That covers just about everything that could be supplied about a problem, except for some source code itself. Simon Hain was the first to reply, asking for the source code that was triggering the exception. After the source code was posted, Peter Strange replied with a theory of the cause, which was bang on. Over the next few pages Simon, Peter and I worked with jgobert to help modify the application to prevent the exception, which was caused by more stringent security in the newer software. Posts by all involved in the thread provided great detail, allowing for a solution within 24 hours of the first post. Jgobert could then move on with the deployment of the new BlackBerry Bold smartphones.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to include all those details in a first post. Our BlackBerry Developer Forum community is an experienced group who love a challenge. Feeding them lots of details will catch their interest and get them thinking about your problem. If jgobert had posted a basic message simply stating that their application throws a ControlledAccessException after upgrading to 7.1, or posted some source code and simply said it stopped working, the post would have received much less attention.
The moral of the story here is that you can really help yourself get help. Do a bit of research into your problem and post all the relevant information you can gather about your problem. The quality of information you provide to the community will directly affect the quality of response you receive. When posting, you can refer to the “Information to include when posting to the XYZ forum” postings at the top of most forums. They’ll help to instruct you on the most important information to include in your post. Help us create more successful threads like this in the BlackBerry Developer Support Forum.