10. Asking for help
If you run into a problem when using DataTables, or any of its extensions, you will want to ask for some help. We have a fantastic community here, full of very helpful and knowledgeable people, however, it is important that you ask your question in a way that it provides enough information that it can be answered.
To ask a question, follow three very simple rules:
- Be polite
- Describe the problem fully
- Link to a test case showing the problem.
Without this information, very likely your question will not be answered, frustrating both yourself and anyone else who does want to help, because they are unable to do so.
How to provide a test case
Ideally, if you are seeing a particular problem, provide a link to that page with a full description of what the problem is and what you want to actually happen. However, if it is not possible to provide a link due to a corporate firewalls or similar, please make use of a service which provides the ability to set-up a remotely hosted test case. There are many such services available:
- live.datatables.net - Specifically designed for DataTables, more info here
- JS Bin
- JS Fiddle
In the majority of cases the community will require a functioning test case to be able to offer any help. However, in some circumstances, it is possible to get the information required from the DataTables debugger. To use the debugger, follow the instructions on the debugger site and post the six character debug code in your forum post.
No reply, even with a test case
If you don't receive a reply, even if you do provide all the information required to show the issue, be aware that the forums are a very busy place. There are more than 40 new threads a day asking for assistance and not every one can be freely answered.
To ensure that you do receive a reply, SpryMedia Ltd (the company behind DataTables) provides professional support maintenance contracts:
- Quick support - for when you need an answer to just one or two questions.
- Long term maintenance and support - for when you need assurance that any issues that crop up in future will be addressed promptly and professionally.