How to place useful comments
In this text we will try to explain some of the very basic commenting practises for people using the dev-bukkit forums. It will go through the do's and don'ts to make dev-bukkit a better place. Commenting also applies to commenting on tickets, or writing tickets in general. "The author" can also be read as "The authors".
Asking for updates
Before asking for a plugin to be updated, consider the following things:
- A plugin author is not paid to update it for you
- A plugin author is not required to update it for you
- A plugin author may already be updating it for you
- There may be updated development builds available for you
Before asking an author to update his plugin, consider whether the author isn't already working on this. The author finds it an annoyance when people are continuously asking for the same thing. It is especially annoying when he is already distributing updated versions for testing, and people are still complaining about the outdated plugin not working.
It is best to write a ticket for it, but if all you are having is an error, we can understand you wish to write a comment on the profile page. However, if you don't want your error report getting lost in the flood of comments, it is best to write a ticket instead.
Never put errors in the comment, never. Do not spam the entire screen with one huge error stacktrace, with all formatting and syntax highlighting gone. Use a service to host this for you, like pastebin.com, pastie.org, hastebin.com or some other service you know.
Always state the current version of the plugin, current version of CraftBukkit and the current version of any other plugin that might be of importance. If a plugin depends on another plugin or library, also state the version of this dependency. These are all important.
Always check for new updates before writing an issue ticket or posting a comment. Do not waste time with writing comments or issue tickets for problems that have already been fixed. Especially if the plugin is built against a specific CraftBukkit implementation, it is completely pointless to write issue tickets for an outdated plugin version. It is obvious that it doesn't work.
Developers usually try to be nice to commenters, they are their customers, they have to. For that same reason, they are used to those that write angry comments or try to 'troll' the author. Developers will respond to those people by not replying, by replying a short answer, or by reporting the comment. Remember: the author is doing this in his own spare time. Don't treat developers like slaves working for YOU, because they CAN leave and CAN quit development because of it.
Replies to common comments
Below are various 'common' comments listed, and a standard reply from me (a plugin author) is given. If an author redirects you to here, you probably commented some of these comments.
Your latest version does not work / I get errors / IT NOT WORKZ
What does not work? Do you have any errors, if so, what are the errors? What CraftBukkit version do you use? What version of the plugin are you using? Have you tried using the latest development build to see if your problem is fixed? Use a pasting service to post your errors.
We are already updating, or working on, updating our plugin. You can use our development builds while we work out any remaining problems. Please make sure you use the development builds of dependencies, too, because those have changed too. How long until we have an official build out? It depends on how much work that is needed to iron out the latest version.
Where can I find the plugin compatible with ...?
If you can't find it in the 'official builds' listed on dev-bukkit, it is more than likely that you can find in-development builds of the plugin on the 'Continuous Integration' build server. This is a server that keeps track of changes in the project, and automatically builds it. The resulting builds are called 'artifacts'. A link to this build server (for the specific project) can be found on the main Dev-Bukkit page, if available. Usually you can find a link to this either in the 'links' section, or all below the main page.
In case you don't understand the lay-out of the build server page, here is a small introduction. To the left, you can see a long list of builds, Top-bottom newest-oldest. Clicking on one of these build numbers brings you to a page where you can download said build. A link to this 'artifact' is at the top-middle of the page, right under 'resulting artifacts'. You can also decide to download the latest successful build, which you can see on the main page.
To install the plugin, see here.
Is this plugin compatible with ...?
Unless otherwise stated, yes. Plugins are always compatible with other plugins, unless we state that it does not. If you find out, in the end, that it is not compatible, tell us so we can add that plugin to our 'incompatibility list'.
Can you make a lightweight version?
You can already turn on and off the features you do not want, so a lightweight version is pointless to write. If you believe that some features in the plugin are slowing down the server, please tell us which features you think these are. We will try to make a configuration option so you can turn this off. However, for almost all features we have already done this, and unused features usually take up no CPU power.
Can you make a version that does not depend on ...?
No, why should we? Why should we bother copy-pasting the same code from one plugin to the other? What are the benefits of this? Do we benefit from it, no. Do you benefit from it...no. If you fear one extra file in your plugins folder that is less than 2 mb, then something is wrong with your knowledge of current-age technology, or you may have to change from server provider. We do not see any usefulness in publishing a separate version that merges the dependency into itself, and until you come up with a solid reason why you believe it is useful, we will not do it.
Is this plugin better than ...? / Which do you recommend?
Of course our plugin is better. Our plugin is magnificent and that other plugin is poorly written, and the author is probably an idiot. We are amazing beings that have created an amazing product that will blow your mind to the moon. We provide top-notch support and are always ready to update our product.
Seriously, what did you expect we would say?
Hey, everybody! Our plugin XYZ is far superior to this plugin!
Your comment will be reported and if BukkitDev staff are not in a good mood, you'll get banned. If they are really angry, they might even delete your entire plugin project. You are violating the terms and conditions of Curse by posting advertisements to your own (or other's) products or services. Do yourself and everyone a favour: don't try to 'steal' the user-base of another plugin.
If your plugin is that much better than the other, why not ask the author (in a P.M.) to collaborate so you can merge the two plugins? Or what about adding some of the functionality of your plugin to the other lacking plugin? Why did you end up writing a perfect clone of the other plugin in the first place, you could've offered your services to the original developer! That is, unless you stole the plugin of course...which is also a bannable offence.
Regardless, plugin (user-base) stealers are the scum of the earth to plugin developers, so if you want to keep a good reputation, please don't do it.
We have heard from X that this plugin Y
That is nice, and in the next twenty sentences we will tell you that Y is false and that X is uninformed. But honestly though, do not state that a certain person informed you something. It provides a weakness and allows authors to attack the person that said it in the first place.
For all you know, YOU think that this plugin Y, and that X said it is completely unrelated. Tell us what you believe our plugin does (wrong), and we will correct any errors or, perhaps we are in the wrong, and we will actually fix the problem mentioned. But don't resolve to gossiping and blurting out false statements as if they are facts, it will not result into anything productive other than trolling.
"False statement stated as a fact"
That is not true, what you are saying is absolutely wrong. Please stop spreading such nonsense or we will call our lawyer to get your comment removed, fool. If you don't cut it out now, we will hunt you down and teach you a lesson you will never forget.
Please, make a proper distinction between facts and opinions. Also, whenever you state something as fact (e.g. this plugin crashed my server), give us a way to resolve your issue (error report, situation, reason, etc.)
This plugin sucks!!!
We are terribly sorry that our free service did not meet your demands. Please, leave this page and allow us to continue updating our plugins and providing assistance to those that need it.
If you don't like something, tell this in a way that allows us to improve it. It is better to say "the commands lack proper documentation, and I can't find the command to do X" than to say "none of the commands work".