Samebug tips

Tips are short solutions to an exception. They are limited in size (256 characters) because we want to present them in a whole as soon as possible when you have problems with an exception. At the moment you will see them

  • on the web, in the result list for a stack trace search
  • in the IDE plugin, when you open Samebug for a stack trace.

The goal of tips

The problem with exceptions during development is that they make you lose focus. Instead of developing what you originally planned now you are trying to understand this unexpected situation, browsing the Internet, reading forums not even related to your problem, etc. The goal of tips is to minimize the time you have to spend with these exceptions and get back to your workflow as soon as possible.

Why should you write tips

When you have an exception from a third party library, usually it takes 5-30 minutes to understand what happened and how can you fix it, while a tip reduces this time to 1-2 minutes. The reach of a tip depends on the popularity of the library where it helps, but if you write a good tip, it may help hundreds of people every week.

On the other hand, writing tips is a way to improve your profile. Samebug shows the tips you write and the libraries where you solve problems on your profile page, so you can get recognized as an expert of a component.

Where to write tips

Currently there are three ways to write a tip:

  • as a solution for your search: If you search with a stack trace, on the bottom of the page you'll find a 'Write tip' button.
  • as a solution for an exception: If you check an exception page, on the bottom of the page you'll find a 'Write tip' button.
  • as an answer to a help request: If you have an incoming help request, click 'Reply'.

How to write a tip

When you write the tip, you have to write the actual message and optionally you can refer to a url as the source.

  • The message must be longer than 5 characters and cannot be longer than 256 characters.
  • Use markdown where necessary to highlight code fragments and urls. Use ` for quoting inline code and ``` for quoting code blocks. Refer to Remarkable for more info.
  • Be straightforward, definite and short.
  • Do not try to explain the details of the situation, but keep in mind what would've helped you the most when you got this exception for the first time.
  • Do not cover multiple situations, rather write them as separate tips.

You should fill the source url only if tip you wrote is an extract of a content from an other site on the Internet. Please always give credit to the original authors by linking the specific answer:

  • on Stack Overflow, click the 'share' label under the answer and copy&paste that link
  • on GitHub, click on the time label on the top of the comment and copy&paste that link
  • on Google Groups, click the dropdown arrow on the top right of a comment and copy&paste the direct link

Write tip

Privacy

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 tips written by you these concepts translate to:

  • If your tip is Public, other users can find it via stack trace search, and read the stack trace of the crash had.
  • If your tip is Searchable, other users can find it via stack trace search, but will not see the stack trace of the crash you had.
  • If your tip is Private, it will never show up to people who cannot access to your workspace.