Error messages in clients should direct the user to support Forum


Currently, I am getting very basic support requests from the pancan collaboration directly by email. We should create a funnel to the support forum which seems to be very lightly used after the BCC. I suggest that we write a wrapper around the error messages in the clients that include information about the support forum, including the link. In the process it would be nice to give more informative (human readable) error messages for such things as permissions instead of/(in addition to) a 401 http error.




Kimyen Truong
December 18, 2018, 11:43 PM

I agree. I am gathering feedback from Python users on how to best organize the content of the help docs (shown in the Python console as the example above) and the general Python articles on different features (more vignette style). I will open other issues as the results of these discussions.

Meredith Slota
December 18, 2018, 11:33 PM

Please reopen if I misunderstood.

Meredith Slota
December 18, 2018, 11:32 PM

Perfect. So this issue is a “Won’t Do” because the articles in the docs site will include a standard link to Discussion Forum, not the error codes themselves. Yes?

Kimyen Truong
December 17, 2018, 10:50 PM

Just writing out my thoughts:
Larsson asked that in the case where Python users see an error, we direct them to ask for help in the Discussion Forum. Would this be the expected behaviors that a Python users want? What are the possible errors one may see:

  • backend error, that is handled by the client, and shown informative message. I think that any nicely done error handling shouldn’t require any additional information, or linked to Discussion Forum, but link to Python client docs on how to use the feature.

  • backend error, that is not already handled by the client. It would be nice if users would know to copy the repro steps into a Github issue.

  • client error, incorrect use of the client functions, should again, point to Python client docs on how to use a feature.

  • client error because there is a bug in the client, should point users to create a bug report in the Github issues.

We prefer users to create bug reports in the Github issues, find information in Python docs or Synapse docs, and ask general questions (after they cannot find the info in the docs) in the Discussion Forum. , please correct me if this workflow is not correct.

I think Meredith’s concern is about how one may find helpful information to perform certain tasks while they are at the console.

In the Python client, one can type

if they know what they are looking for. For example:

However, the Python client does not have any “vignettes” like the synapser client has. Where in synapser, one can browseVignettes(package="synapser") to open the documentation. If we add more articles like the ones requested in SYNPY‌-858, SYNPY‌-860, we can then link the help doc above to the articles. And then, from the articles in the Python docs, link to Discussion Forum. What do you think?

Meredith Slota
December 17, 2018, 10:29 PM

Not sure this belongs in error messages, but rather, we should include the discussion forum and the docs site in a “help” function of some kind. What are your thoughts here?

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Kimyen Truong


Larsson Omberg


Xavier Schildwachter