Need your help in the support forum

53% of questions in the Firefox support forum are not getting replies.

If you can, please make some time to answer a few questions, so we don’t end up with users coming to Mozilla for help and getting no reply.

Here’s a link to posts without replies: https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions?filter=no-replies

If you haven’t created an account on support.mozilla.com, you should first repent, then go to https://support.mozilla.com/users/register

12 Responses

  1. Anonymous September 29, 2011 / 1:31 pm

    You know, a lot more were getting answered when unregistered answers were allowed. Just sayin’

  2. Michael September 29, 2011 / 2:05 pm

    Having a quick look, a lot of the popular unanswered questions aren’t actually people looking for help. There are questions about Mozilla’s strategy and plans, and there are bug reports and feature requests (either for Firefox or for add-ons).

    I guess the bug reports and feature requests could be referred over to bugzilla, for whatever that would be worth to either the user or Firefox development, but I can’t imagine there are going to be a lot of volunteers to spend time arguing with users about whether rapid release is a good idea or not…

  3. Chris Ilias September 29, 2011 / 2:28 pm

    You’re not supposed to be arguing with users; you’re supposed to be helping them. :)

  4. Michael September 30, 2011 / 4:40 am

    I realise that :) I’m not suggesting that actually arguing is a good thing to do… but I’m not sure that helpful answers exist to some of the questions.

    If the answer to “when will X happen?” is “never” or “how can I do this” is “you can’t”, then most people aren’t going to find those answers helpful, even if you try helpfully suggesting alternatives that they didn’t ask for…

    I guess any response may be better than nothing, but as a volunteer it wouldn’t be terribly inspiring…

  5. geneg September 30, 2011 / 2:33 pm

    I had two problems with Firefox. Without fail it would kill my laptop for about five minutes shortly after I started Firefox, the other was an add-on that continued to mix things up after it was “fixed”. I sent a note (unregistered) and asked them if these problems were things I was doing or Firefox was doing. I got an auto-reply back that since I was not registered they would not help me. Rather than register and re-post my plea for help, I downloaded and installed Chrome, which I love. It’s faster and instead of a suite of add-ons I have one and am not really sure, after joining google+, I even need that one. It will be a cold day in hell before I go back to Mozilla.

  6. Chris Ilias October 1, 2011 / 4:22 pm

    You can be helpful by explaining things and trying to address why the user is asking in the first place. For example, if a user is complaining about the rapid release cycle, you can take the time to explain why the switch to rapid release was made (because they usually don’t know why), and then try to address why he/she is complaining about it. Is it because one or more of his/her add-ons were disabled? Okay, help them find an update to the add-on, an alternate add-on that serves the same purpose, and mention plans in upcoming versions that address complaints about disabled add-ons.

  7. Chris Ilias October 1, 2011 / 4:26 pm

    geneg,
    I’d be happy to help you. Do you mind if I take it up with you via email?

  8. Michael October 1, 2011 / 9:07 pm

    “if a user is complaining about the rapid release cycle, you can take the time to explain why the switch to rapid release was made”

    I suppose so. I guess it just feels odd to me that it’s the role of SUMO to explain Mozilla’s strategy. The plans for the upcoming versions will help, but some of the stuff planned isn’t going to hit until Firefox 10 at best, and that’s still not a complete solution.

    Anyway, this thread of comments is drifting off the topic. I guess my point is that helping people, one by one, to understand why they have to go through some extra pain, is not appealing to me. I’d rather be actually “fixing” stuff.

  9. eric z. October 3, 2011 / 10:41 am

    geneg – Some people like Hondas. Some like Volkswagens. Some like Fords.

    I think we are better having differentiated products, so that personal taste and choice can better be satisfied. I like Firefox better, use both, and use IE for OS and Office upgrade checking.

    My user experience is that Firefox is more stable, and the addon range more extensive. Also my perception is Firefox is easier on user memory.

    Chrome has the about:memory feature, which is nice because it tells you what overhead your extensions cost in terms of memory. Other than that, taste and choice are individual things. While a few chrome extensions have no analogs in Firefox that is not a decisive thing. Noscript is Firefox only, etc.

    Chris and Michael – I am drifting off topic. So, back on topic, I will see what the unanswered questions look like, and whether I can be helpful.

    Sometimes I might know a little more or a little less than the person posing the question, but I have an experience base of questions I have had and for which I found or figured out answers. It is a community thing. I will have a look.

  10. eric z. October 3, 2011 / 12:42 pm

    Chris and others. I took a look at the opening link. Many of the problems look to be unfamiliarity with the options menu – settings to correct some resetting of a home page [although browser hijacks can do that too and that’s more complicated]. I looked a generic item about “I upgraded to 7.0.1 and it runs slow/funny/intermittently slow, etc.]. I give the link because I thing Chris should respond about trying to get a standardized – more info response. (I forgot to ask, upgrading to 7.0.1 from WHICH VERSION). But for anyone taking the challenge of helping others, have a look at the suggestion that a troubleshooting information log be appended because it gives so much info that a written question might omit:

    https://support.mozilla.com/en-US/questions/882750#answer-255840

    Chris, use this as a start, think about it, and please in a reply try to suggest some better worded standardized text. I am almost certain my “slowness” problem is self-inflicted, and I need to clean up some tabs, decide which pdf items to delete or to save to disk, etc. Some may have unrealistic expectations, and a log showing a ton of addons with addon compatability checking might be at fault.

    Then, Chris, if you have canned standardized language for troubleshooting addons, disable half, see if problem’s fixed, enable those and disable other half, any logical protocol to zero in on something, please post that. In trying to isolate a problem with addons, two in conflict, there is some intuition that two tab management ones might conflict, etc., but sometimes it’s not intuitive.

    There should be standard approaches to ask a user to try, vs. Joe replying “What about X,” and Sam replying, “What about Y?”

    Finally, it seems intuitive to take a snapshot of installed stuff, via the Troubleshooting Information capability, of a stable install, BEFORE upgrading. If anythings’s amiss, I lost my bookmarks, I lost my addons, at least the addon log exists.

    Is there a comparable bookmark log/snapshot tool? In synching and importing/exporting bookmarks, is there a way to create a plaintext log first, before dinking around? To print out “places” info to a plaintext log? Is the thinking that such a feature may cause more headaches thatn it would cure?

    I keep few bookmarks, and there are addons such as Read it Later, but I expect many users bookmark far too much, and cry later. I prefer drag/drop links to a “daily pointers” directory since I can do that from multiple browsers. I know bookmarking with tags works, but it takes upfront time to make retrieval easier, with addons that help tagging; but that takes upfront patience.

    However, many generic help posts are about lost addons or lost bookmarks. I have read that Mozilla had a config disruption problem with the 7.0 upgrade hence a quick 7.0.1 patch release. No profile data loss, but an access/display glitch.

    So, Chris, you want more help participation – ball’s in your court on some sensible protocol steps we might need and use.

  11. Greg March 19, 2012 / 9:39 am

    I agree with Michael, most of the unanswered questions are those about bugs, features etc. Questions about more down-the-earth things are answered quite successfully as I can see. Anyway, thank you for starting the discussion and attracting people’s attention to this problem, probably that can help.

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