Our rationale behind bugmates was the situation which is probably familiar to you: you have an exception, you try to search for a solution on the Internet but find nothing. Probably there were already a number of other developers struggling with the same problem who put some effort into solving it, managed to fix it but never shared their findings. They left no trace, not even the fact that they had such a problem. We see exceptions every day, but only a small portion of these crashes get documented by people who ask for a solution on the forums.
Bugmates are Samebug's concept to improve this situation. Every stack trace search executed on the web and every crash logged during development in the IDE (assuming the Samebug plugin is installed) will be associated with the Samebug user. In some cases these people just ignore the exception, others will find a workaround or put more or less effort into finding the solution, but only in the rarest case will someone document the problem and the solution e.g. in a blog post. However, because they use Samebug, their effort and knowledge is no longer isolated.
Now if you have an exception and check it on Samebug, even if it doesn't have a solutions, you might find your bugmates there, and you can send them a help request.
A help request is a stack trace and the description of the problem. The description might be helpful for your bugmates to identify the problem in cases when the stack trace is not enough, but you can leave it empty if you want.
When you send a help request, Samebug will notify your bugmates about it, and when they answer, Samebug will notify you. We think in this procedure everybody profits:
If you are no longer interested in answers to your help request, you can revoke it on the same page where you requested it. At the moment it does not happen automatically even if you mark one of the answers helpful.
We know that many information that Samebug deals with might be sensitive, we have an adequate idea about privacy even in this early phase.
In the context of bugmates these concepts translate to: