The geotools-users email list is a great place to start out; ask questions and share tips and tricks on using the library.
The users list is for questions regarding the installation or use of the GeoTools2 library. Users of GeoTools are usually java developers building applications with spatial capabilities.
Sometimes, some small applications or server-side code will exist within the GeoTools code base (for example, a Web Map Service implementation or a conversion utility). If these have not yet found a project of their own, then questions about how to use them may be directed to this list.
The GeoTools community is available on IRC for a little bit of Question and Answer. You can often find active developers, helpful users, and all manner of activity.
If you are new to IRC, you will need to find an IRC client (Pidgin, mIRC, or even Colloquy on mac).
The information you need to configure your IRC client are:
A recent fad is the advent of question and answer forums, while these websites are not an official means of communication they do offer a an advantage over the traditional email list in that good answers can be voted relevant.
Tips for use:
Here are some forums we are aware of at this time:
If you seriously have a deadline, or find you are spending too much time reading this documentation please consider setting up a support contract with any of the following organisations.
Please consider this as an option, especially if you do not have a background in Geospatial Science or stuck between a bug and a deadline. Remember that the documentation is constructed by volunteers, or people like you hiring an organisation to for specific work.
GeoTools tracks tasks, issues and bugs with its JIRA tracker, generously provided by Atlassian and hosted by CodeHaus. This is where all bugs should be reported, in addition to requested features and improvements.
To create an issue:
Sign up with CodeHaus: Signup . This CodeHaus username is used for both the issue tracker and the wiki.
Once you are logged in you can create a new issue
When creating a new issue be sure to fill out all the relevant fields.
Tips for a useful bug report
What Happens Next?
On creation a notification will automatically be sent to the geotools-devel list. JIRA sends notifications for everything done on the issue, to the reporter, the assignee, and to anyone who clicks on the link to ‘watch’ an issue.
Note: This is why you must sign up for an account, so that JIRA can email you when updates are done. Your email will not be used for anything else. One nice little feature of JIRA is that if you reply to the email sent for notification, including firstname.lastname@example.org as a recipient, then the reply will show up as a comment on the issue.
When will your bug be fixed?
Well for the above bug report Andrea Aimie (the module maintainer) will get assigned the bug by default, and will probably respond with a nice email explaining the problem.:
Not all platforms support Java 2D antialiasisng; wait a moment the Amiga 2000 does not support java? ------------------------------------------------------- Ing. Andrea Aime GeoSolutions S.A.S. Tech lead
And then the bug will be “CANNOT REPRODUCE”, and Jira will tell you about that too.
For New Bugs we may need assistance to reproduce the issue before a fix can be considered.
Uually the a Developer (or the Module Maintainer) will need to ask you for more information. Until they can reproduce you issue, or you volunteer to test, not much is going to happen.
Example: If you are on some exotic hardware (like oracle on windows server) that we do not have public access to you will probably need to arrange to meet on IRC and test out different solutions with a developer.
For new bugs with a Patch.
You can attach a code patch to the Jira task and ask the module maintainer include your fix in the next release.
Why Volunteering to Test Makes a Difference
Remember that even volunteering to test makes a HUGE difference for developers .. it literally cuts down the work by two thirds!
If you are available to test:
Even if you cannot test right away, swapping messages on email or trying out nightly builds can make a difference.
Keep in mind that many members of the GeoTools library have a day job. Just as you volunteer your time to report an issue, they volunteer their time to support the library.