gpsd SUPPORT information

GENERAL

gpsd is developed and maintained by the open source community, and the project does not formally offer support. Many people are usually extremely helpful, particularly towards those people who have taken the time to try to understand things and appear likely to contribute to the community. This file explains how to ask for help.

(For those used to interacting with and contributing to open source projects, note that this file is not attempting to say anything radical or unusual.)

There is much documentation online at https://gpsd.io/ and that documentation should be consulted before asking for help.

Details of gpsd support is described at https://gpsd.io/faq.html#bug-reporting

The following link is very useful to give a sense of how to ask questions:

http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

gpsd has not adopted the policy implicit in the following link, but it is an interesting discussion which may provide some insight into the response to requests for help:

https://berthub.eu/articles/posts/anonymous-help/

ISSUE TRACKER

The gpsd source control website is at https://gitlab.com/gpsd/gpsd/ and contains an issue tracker.

Issues may be created when you believe that something is wrong in the gpsd code, documentation, or website and can articulate why you believe that. This is not meant to be a particularly high bar, but asking questions in issues is not acceptable and "gpsd doesn’t work" is not acceptable. Feature requests are sometimes acceptable, particularly when the feature is well thought out, appears implementable, is likely to be of broad interest, and the request is filed by someone with a history of participation in the community.

Issues may be created for the most recent formal release of gpsd, or the current version of gpsd, the website or other project content. (Quality bug reports with specific references to problem code still present in the latest release are OK too.)

Issues that are not valid issues (not a bug, or lack of a reasonable attempt to provide enough information) may be summarily closed.

USER MAILINGLIST

The user mailinglist at https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gpsd-users is appropriate for questions about gpsd, after a reasonable attempt has been made to answer the question by reading the documentation.

When posting to the user list, make sure to describe your question and situation well (see the links above). Please realize that you are asking for free help from strangers, rather than addressing your paid consultant.

Generally, please update to at least the latest formal release before asking for help, particularly if you are trying to do anything that is not already known to work for everyone else. Almost no one on the mailinglist has shown an interest in addressing issues in old versions.

DEVELOPMENT MAILINGLIST

The development mailinglist at https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/gpsd-dev is appropriate for technical discussion about what changes should be made to gpsd. Questions about how to do things with gpsd are inappropriate on this list. (If you aren’t reading the code, this list is likely not for you.)

PRIVATE MAIL TO MAINTAINERS

A quick perusal of the lists will make it clear who is maintaining gpsd and contributing changes. Do not send private mail to these individuals asking for help. Ask your questions in public, and expect the conversation will remain public, so that others can help you, and that the conversation will be of benefit to the whole community.

If you need technical help in private, then you need a consultant, not free help from the project.

It is acceptable to send private email when disclosing a security issue.

LONG TERM STABLE PACKAGING

Note that there are a variety of distributions and packaging systems that contain gpsd. Some of these are kept relatively up to date, and some intentionally snapshot software at some point in time and then only apply security patches, sometimes for five years. These are typically called "long term stable" or "LTS", and are aimed at users who wish to avoid ABI or feature changes and only get bug reports.

Occasionally, a user has appeared on the mailinglist expecting support for an old version because it is contained in some LTS operating system they have chosen to run. The gpsd project lacks the resources to provide help about old versions, and support requests for old gpsd versions in LTS operating systems should be directed at the LTS OS supplier (or your paid consultant or support service).

A related issue is obtaining a modified version of gpsd from a GPS chip vendor, leading to using old gpsd versions. The project encourages improvements to gpsd to be contributed back for the benefit of the greater gpsd community, and also to remove reasons for people to use old versions. People using an old version from a vendor should seek support from their vendor.