locked ARRL Contest Update for June 23, 2021 wrote:
On 23 Jun 2021,
The ARRL Contest Update for June 23, 2021 wrote:
Be a Good Ham Radio Software "Customer"
Much of the software that we use in amateur radio is free to download and use. The program authors were generous enough to devote their time and energy to create something that they've shared with others. Some popular ham radio software is downloaded and used by literally tens of thousands of people. Inevitably, someone will have difficulty with the operation of the program, and need "support." For most, dare I say all, program authors, the "support" part is not the most fun part of writing software. For a number of years now, the support model for free software consists of an email reflector or user group (e.g. groups.io) where the software developers, software enthusiasts, and people using the software communicate to discuss features and future functionality and address support issues. The people answering the questions are also volunteers. Support groups usually have guidelines about what information to include in a support issue, how to label the message, and general support forum etiquette.
Support volunteers appreciate it when issue reports have as much relevant information about the problem as possible, and demonstrate that the reporter has diligently attempted to solve their issue after reading appropriate documentation and searching the support group for messages from others who have had the issue.
A comprehensive report includes whatever the program authors require , which likely includes the software version (it should be the latest version of the software), the operating system type and version, type of computer, whether this is a new installation, and the steps required to reproduce the issue. Most amateur radio software works with other software or hardware, so sometimes the details of the related pieces will be necessary too. If an issue reporter has done the research on their issue by reading other solved issue reports, they will probably have a good idea of the information that should be included.
If you need to file an issue, here are some tips that can get your issue to stand out in a good way:
Sometimes it turns out that just following the guidelines for reporting an issue can help you find the solution yourself, saving both you and volunteers on the other end both time and effort.