GeoTools user list posting guide

Regardless of whether you are just starting out with GeoTools or have been using it for years, we encourage you to subscribe to the user list and take an active part in the community. To help make the user list as useful and friendly as possible we ask you to observe the following guidelines:

No advertising

The user list is for technical discussion directly related to programming with GeoTools. Other topics such as job notices or advertising products or services are best placed elsewhere. For job notices there is the FOSS GIS mailing list and the OSGeo Jobs Board. For other topics such as product or company news, please contact a member of the GeoTools Project Management Committee to discuss publishing an item on the GeoTools blog.

Be polite

Messages to the user list are not moderated so whatever is in your post when you hit the send button will be seen by all.

Be clear and informative

Avoid posting messages such as My app doesn’t work !!!! HELP ME !!!!. Messages like this are likely to be ignored (especially if typed in capitals).

Be patient

Remember that everyone who answers questions on the list does so as a volunteer, usually in their own time. Depending on the work and life schedules of the GeoTools developers and other list members, it might not be possible to respond to your question immediately or even at all. It could also be that no one on the list knows the answer. If your project requires immediate, guaranteed assistance you should investigate the commercial support options available for GeoTools.

Be realistic

Remember that the list is here to help but not to write your code for you. Sometimes list members will post code snippets or even extended examples in response to questions, but you should not expect that routinely. If you need someone to help you write GeoTools-related code, consider commercial support.

Check first

Before posting a question, check to see if it is already answered in the following:

Post enough (but not too much)

When posting about a problem with your application or a possible bug in GeoTools, be sure to include:

  • The version of GeoTools that you are using.
  • Your operating system.
  • Whether you are using Maven to build your application, or are using some other method (e.g. Ant with manual download of the GeoTools jars).
  • The full error trace if applicable.
  • A small, self-contained code sample that either reproduces the problem or illustrates the issue that you are posting about. The code sample should be suitable for other list members to copy and paste into their IDEs without editing. Please don’t post huge chunks of code, or code samples that can’t be compiled in isolation.

Tip

If you using a SNAPSHOT version of GeoTools you can call the static GeoTools.getAboutInfo() method to get summary information about your system and GeoTools installation which you can include in your posting to the list. You can also use the AboutDialog class in the gt-swing module to get this information.

Share your solutions

If you have posted to the list seeking an answer to a GeoTools programming problem, and then discover the solution yourself, please take the time to share it with the list. Your answer will then be there in the list archives for the benefit of future generations. For bonus points, share the answers to questions you didn’t post, as in: “I’ve just worked out a much better way of doing XYZ with GeoTools”.

Take a little, give a little

The user list is there to help you but it works best if you help it too. Give back to the GeoTools project and community by answering questions or pointing people towards other useful sources of information when you can. We will like you a lot.

Further information

We recommend How to ask questions the smart way for more tips on how to get the most out of your user list membership.