you have problems...
There are many things you can do if you have a problem.
Some are polite, some are not. Some are helpful, some are
not. The way you go about getting help will determine your
success. For a general guide of how to ask for help, read How
To Ask Questions The Smart Way. (Note: The authors
of that essay are not connected to BlueJ, and cannot answer
BlueJ-related questions. Do not mail them about your problem!)
Here is a short summary of the most important points.
Read the FAQ!
Many problem are described in the Frequently Asked Question
list (FAQ - here!). Read it! It is
considered very impolite to mail support staff with trivial
questions that are answered here. Our support people are
very busy, and re-typing things from the FAQ is not a good
use of their time.
Read other help documents
For some questions, the tips archive is
a good source of information. Look at it before going on.
Ask someone around you
If you are at a college or university, try first asking
another student, tutor, or lecturer. We have several hundred
thousand users all over the world - if they all always ask
us, then we cannot help anyone!
Try to identify the problem
Ask yourself: is this really a BlueJ problem that I am seeing,
or maybe a Java problem? Run some tests. If you can, execute
another Java application - does it work? Try to find out
(if you can) whether you have a BlueJ problem or a Java problem.
Ask the right people
If you can't solve the problem for yourself, there are several
For technical support problems - such as problems with
installing or running BlueJ - you can use the support
For general discussion of BlueJ features and concepts,
consider joining the bluej-discuss
For general java questions - that is, questions about
Java programming or other issues which are specific to
Java but not specific to BlueJ - the best option is to
try a forum dedicated to that purpose. There are some resources listed here.
When sending mail or posting to a forum, there are several
important things that you should think about:
Use the support form
As mentioned above, the support form can be found here:
BlueJ support request form
The support form is for technical support, not for help
with programming in general. Be aware that real people receive
the information you supply - so it helps to give as much
information as you can.
Politeness never hurts, and sometimes helps. Mails saying
that "this all sucks, what a %#*'*€..." are
not likely to be answered with the same patience as are polite
mails. After all, you are dealing with normal people at the
Use easily readable formats
Send your mail in a format that is easy to read. Mails stating "Here
is a scrrenshot of my problem, in the ultra-cool tpeg-3000
image format (which you can open with MultiImage.exe, which
you find on all good shareware sites)" are, frankly,
a pain in the neck. They cause unnecessary work for our
Wherever possible, use plain text messages. Avoid text processor
When asking for help because something does not work, be
precise in describing what is happening. This includes a
detailed description of what you did, and a full copy of
You'd be surprised at the amount of messages we get that
state "I did everything just as you wrote on your
page, and it's not working." That's all. There is
not much we can reply to this. In 95% of those cases, people
did not do everything that was written on the web page.
What information to include
If you have a technical problem and you want to mail our
support people, please include the following information:
- which operating system you are using;
- which Java version you are using;
- which version of BlueJ you are using;
- the path where jdk is installed;
- the path where BlueJ is installed;
- the exact sequence of actions you took before the error
- the exact output that is produced. In BlueJ 1.3 and below
this is often in the DOS/command line window. In BlueJ
1.3.5 and above the output is stored in a debug log file.
The location of this file can be found in BlueJ->About
BlueJ. Do not just copy the end of these messages - the
top is usually much more important;
- For MacOS users, error output will appear in the system
console (Applications/Utilities/Console). Include error
messages from here (if any) in your mail.