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Related to this question: What types of product (add-on) support questions should be allowed?

The question of whether developers should be allowed (or even encouraged) to provide official add-on support here.

Meta Stack Overflow has a nice question Derek Hogue pointed out, where Jeff Atwood suggests Stack Overflow isn't the best place to provide official support for products. However, I think our site is (and should be) very different from Stack Overflow.

Obviously, I am 100% in favor of directing users here for official, first-line support, and I intend to encourage other EE add-on developers to do the same. It was one of the reasons I personally was pushing the commitment phase, because I believe it is a massive improvement for our customers over using Get Satisfaction (us, P&T), or installing the EE forum plugin (DevDemon, Solspace, CartThrob, etc).

The only things I believe should not be directed here are pure feature requests, and pure bug reports. We will make it clear on our site that bug reports and feature requests should be emailed, and we will still provide the same email support we always have.

However, if feature requests and bug reports are phrased as questions, then I think they are fine:

  • I'm getting this PHP error trying to install X, what can I do (fine, even though it's a bug, it's highly likely other people will run into this PHP error as well, and we can help find a solution)
  • Is it possible to do X with Y add-on? (fine, this is a specific, answerable question, and many other people will probably have the same question)

What are other peoples' thoughts on this? Should we allow (or encourage) EE add-on developers to move their official support to this site?

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When I thought about creating the proposal one of my intentions was to provide a place where all users of ExpressionEngine, even & especially commercial add-on devs, can congregate and provide support. This at least provides an opportunity for end-users of EE & the add-ons to provide support to other end-users for questions without sucking up the resources of the commercial add-on developer. I think if add-on devs use the SE site in this way everyone benefits.

Of course this might be naive (since I have not developed a commercial add-on) but I would encourage any developer to try it out and see if SE site can provide a viable support tool. SE community members can create special tags for certain commercial add-ons to facilitate this kind of use.

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Personally for Add-on questions I like the devot:ee forums best. I mean you have everything right there. Your licenses, your downloads and your questions.

But due to the fact that a blank Install of EE always needs a plethora of Add-ons I guess Add-on questions in SE are inevitable.

So I would recommend to allow them. Maybe wit a Hint in the Title like:

-Low Variables- How do I do this and this.

I also second what Patrick Pohler wrote: Every time I write to a Add-on Developer I think "Man, he answered this question 10 times for sure."

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