Greasemonkey Manual:Getting Help

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If you've run through all the troubleshooting steps and things still aren't working how you might expect them to, one of the benefits of an open source project is that there are communities of people who use Greasemonkey who may be able to share their experience to help you get back on track.



What to Do First

Before you ask for help, you should make a reasonable effort to help narrow down exactly what the issue you are having is - Help us to help you.

Without doing the basic groundwork to get that information, even someone who really really really wants to help you can only, at best, guess at what the problem might be.

By providing detailed information early on, it shows that you are willing to put the effort in yourself. This makes it easier to see what is wrong and makes you look like a good person. In other words, it makes it more likely that someone will be willing to volunteer their time to help you.

Do Some Troubleshooting

The first step is to start by troubleshooting yourself. This is important as lots of problems reported are common issues that are solved very easily.

Collect the Information Together

After doing this troubleshooting, you must be ready to explain what you've already done and what the results were.

After all, since losing our psychic powers, not describing what is or is not working it will make it difficult to understand what is happening on your computer.

Communicating what is happening on your computer, what you think it should actually be doing and what you've already done to try and figure out why it isn't behaving in the way you expect is probably the most important step. In fact, it deserves a section of its own..

What to Say

After going through the basic troubleshooting steps yourself, it is time to decide what you are going to tell the relevant person.

The reason every piece of this information is important is because there are so many things that could be going wrong it is important to help someone else be able to reproduce the problem. Maybe it is a problem with a script, maybe it is a problem with Greasemonkey.

Either way, if a Greasemonkey developer can cause the error appear on their own screen then they can find it much easier to figure out how to fix it.

All of the following:

  • Operating System
    • (E.G. Windows XP, Windows 7, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Ubuntu Linux 8.10)
  • Firefox version
    • (Open Help, About Mozilla Firefox then select and copy the last line of text, E.G. "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686 (x86_64); en-US; rv:1.9.2) Gecko/20100115 Firefox/3.6".)
  • Greasemonkey version
    • (Find it in Tools, Add-ons, E.G. 0.8.20091209.4.)
  • Exactly which script, if any, is causing a problem?
    • Give an exact name, and if at all possible, the URL where it can be found.
  • Exactly which page, if any, is exhibiting this problem.
    • Please give a URL. If some sort of registration or login or other permission is required, please state this instead.

Note about scripts

If you are a script author, including the exact code that is causing problems is really important.

The best option is to provide a URL to some sort of pastebin service, like gist.github.com or pastebin.com, which can communicate the entire, and exact, source code causing the problem. Equally important is providing the whole script, not just a few lines of code as in many cases the real problem might lie elsewhere; without being able to see that code, nobody can help you for sure.

If you provide the source code via email, please do not paste it into the body of your message: e-mail clients will wrap lines, change characters, and generally break the code in other subtle ways. Attaching the source code as a file makes sure it is not broken in transit.

Where to Say It

Great! You have all of this lovely information. Now you just need to decide where to send it ;)

Here's a quick guide for some good places to look:

  • If your problem is with a specific user script, you should first contact the original author of the script.
    If you downloaded it from userscripts.org then either send a message to the scriptwright or add a Discussion to the script's page.
  • If you are the author of the script (a scriptwright) and you need help with JavaScript, http://www.stackoverflow.com/ and the Mozilla Developer Centre (MDC) are excellent places to ask questions or look up reference material.
  • Alternatively, you can post a message to the greasemonkey-users mailing list.
  • Also available are the forums at userscripts.org, with multiple appropriate topics.
  • Finally, you may also try IRC: irc://irc.freenode.net/#greasemonkey


See Also