I'm asking because I saw this question Undefined offset: 1 in gcm_action_send_message()

This to me looks like a PHP error that's caused by a bug in the contrib module and should be filed as an issue. I could be wrong, but in general is this the place to be asking things like that?

The correct answer to me is that the module should be patched so that it doesn't throw errors regardless of whatever bung configuration the administrator has entered through the Drupal UI.

The "correct" answer as selected by the user asking the question will be workaround rather than a working patch more likely than not.

The bug may never be reported to the module maintainer and may go unnoticed for much longer than necessary because of the available workaround on Stack Overflow.

Should we be leaving comments on bug-report style questions (or even closing them) telling users to open an issue with the maintainer on the d.o. project page and request support from there before polling for workarounds on SO?

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  • 1
    I don't have time for a proper answer to this, but you can't use the answer to determine whether a question is on-topic. If the question is indeed the result of a bug, an answer should also mention to file a bug report in the proper queue. But just because it is the result of a bug, doesn't make it off-topic. – mpdonadio Jan 17 '13 at 19:17
  • 1. I don't agree that just because a user doesn't know the exact answer to a question that they'd have no inkling of the type of answer they'd be receiving. If the expected answer is a patch, or adding missing documentation then it should be in the issue queue. – David Meister Jan 19 '13 at 13:18
  • 2. I didn't say that just because it's a bug it should be in the issue queue, I'm saying what do we do with bug reports that should clearly be in the issue queue – David Meister Jan 19 '13 at 13:18

If there is a bug in a module, then the discussion should be in the relevant issue queue for the module, not on DA. This is mentioned in the FAQ on the main site.

Most questions that relate to a module bug will be closed as off-topic because of this.

I suppose the only possible exception would be if there is no relevant issue posted in the issue queue, but in that case the question would probably still be closed and a re-post to the issue queue would be suggested.

If, however, the question is how to problems implementing working functionality of part of a module (for example, if the question you reference was more of a "I'm trying to call function X in module Y, but I'm getting an error - am I doing it right") then that's probably safe.

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Bugs should be reported on the module's issue queue, as a question on Drupal Answers about a bug in the code would not be much interesting for future users, essentially because there is nothing much that can be done about code bugs, if not reporting them to the maintainers of the module. Also, once a bug has been fixed, the question would stop to be of any relevance.

That said, the question you link is not about a bug in the code, but rather missing, or incomplete documentation about the function the module exposes to other modules. Knowing how to correctly use a function could have more interesting for future users, considering that normally a module is written with compatibility in mind. Eventually, the question could not be interesting for the users using a different version (e.g. 7.x-3 instead of 7.x-2), but the question could be interesting for who is using the same version.

To make a summary:

  • Questions about how to use a class/function/method exposed from Drupal or third-party modules are allowed, whenever the documentation is missing, incomplete, not clear, or complete

  • Questions similar to "I installed the [X] module, and when I enabled it I got an error about accessing a property for something that is not an object" are not allowed

If the documentation about a class/function/method is not complete, or not completely clear, a bug report can be opened in the issue queue of the project involved, but the question on Drupal Answers is acceptable, and not closed.

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