Issue 709: Potentially possible to do a better job at routing external tool support requests to tool-specific support boards

issues
Status:open
Assigned To:Brendan MacLean
Type:Defect
Area:Skyline
Priority:4
Milestone: 
Opened:2020-01-02 by Brian Pratt
Changed:2020-01-04 by Brendan MacLean
Resolved:
Resolution:
Closed:
2020-01-02 Brian Pratt
Title»External Tools should be consistently able (and required) to provide support information
Assigned ToGuest»Brendan MacLean
Type»Defect
Area»Skyline
Priority»3
We don't want to be responsible for support of external tools, but we don't make it easy for users to get access to that support.

I'm thinking we should alter the External Tools infrastructure to support (and indeed require) a standard mechanism for directing users of an external tool to the appropriate support site.

2020-01-02 Brian Pratt
For the moment I have added this to our support page:

If your question is about an External Tool, please contact that tool's developers directly. Contact information can usually be found on Skyline's Tools | Tool Store... menu.

2020-01-04 Brendan MacLean
TitleExternal Tools should be consistently able (and required) to provide support information»Potentially possible to do a better job at routing external tool support requests to tool-specific support boards
Priority3»4
I have changed the title because it suggests something that is already standard for External Tools.

Maybe we can improve its visibility, but as stated, this is already the case. Every tool, if you go to the Tool Store you can either:
1. Click its "More Info" link and click "Support Board"
2. Go to its details page (where you suggested finding contact information, which is not really there, except for names and institutions) and click the red "Support Board" button.

Possible improvements include:
1. Moving the "Support Board" link on the Tool Store page out of the main text that frequently puts it inside "More info" and instead make it a button like Download and Documentation.
2. In the Skyline Tools > Tool Store form, which may be the most common way to install tools, make the "Tool Store" button just go to the main Tool Store web page. (it currently goes to the tool detail page for the selected tool), and add buttons right-aligned with "More Information" that say "Details" and "Support Board". Also, make the main logo click-able and linked to the Details page (containing the red "Support Board" button).

Otherwise, I think we just need to be consistent about pointing to these support boards whenever we give tool support. Ideally, we would only give tool support on these pages, but most of us are not signed up to receive the email. As Nick pointed out, the support response to these support boards is often not as immediate as our own support board. I have even had to remind tool owners of the need to respond. So, there is a good part of this that is human nature we cannot control.