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The most important thing about any support case is recreatability.
If we cannot recreate a problem and see it for ourselves on our own
computers, the chances that we can solve it for you are very small.
The faster we can see a problem, the faster we can tell you what the matter
is. Remember that in over 90% of support cases, the error is in fact something
done by you (e.g. HTML formatting error, parameter error, index file format
error, uploading error, etc), and that we need to see what you are doing
if we are going to help you. Even when the error is in the applet, we need to
see the conditions under which you got the applet to do this, because the
conditions are probably different from anything we tested. So in all cases,
we absolutely need to see what you are doing!
The best way to maximize the chances of recreatability is this:
upload the files to a test web page on your web site, then check the problem
still occurs, then send us the URL and don't forget to tell us what we're
supposed to be looking for that is unusual.
A problem can't be recreated with screenshots and attachments!
Screenshots don't help, as we need to check your parameters, index file, java
console, and how things developed over time - all things a screenshot can't track.
Attachments don't help, as people rarely send us the right files, and almost
never send us the actual files they are using - or else they ZIP up several
megabytes of application and the email bounces off our mail server. Even when
they do send the right files, these often work great at our end, because one of the main
causes of problems is how things were uploaded at your end.
Recreatability often means searching for error patterns before reporting the error.
You can greatly accelerate the speed at which a support case is resolved by analysing
the conditions necessary for the error to occur. For example, check on a few different
machines, identify which browsers, operating systems and java interpreters are involved.
Have a look at our website demos to see if the problem also occurs there - or does the
problem only occur with your own design? A successfully resolved support case involves
you and us combining our abilities to resolve the case - you are important to the
resolution of the case, as you have the direct experience and knowledge of the problem,
and the more you communicate to us about this, the more likely it is that we will be able to