Step 12: Meet the Community

Time Estimate

  • Joining Looped Group: 5 minutes
  • Joining Zulipchat: 10 minutes

Summary

  • Use the search tools in Looped, Zulipchat, Loopdocs, and Looptips
  • If asking for help, remember the motto "Help me help you"...provide information. Avoid vague phrases and the word "it". Aim for details and specifics. Screenshots are gold.

FAQs

  • "I'm worried I'll ask a stupid question" Don't worry about that...instead just focus on asking a thorough question. A thorough question explains what you've already tried or read, has screenshots of what you are confused by, and any other details that you can provide.

Online groups

There's a whole wonderful community of people already Looping who willing to help you through the process. You can find them in two main areas; Looped group on Facebook and Zulipchat.

These groups, as with Loop itself, are entirely driven by VOLUNTEERS. None of the people are paid to answer questions or spend time troubleshooting...they do it because they want to help others. Please decrease that support burden by doing some simple steps yourself before turning to others for help. Please click the image below to watch this video full of tips to make the most of your online resources.

Screenshots

One super valuable tool for posting to online groups is the ability to take screenshots of your issue and use them in your posts. On an Apple computer, simply press shift-command-4 keys at the same time and a little crosshairs tool for taking screenshots will appear. Click-and-drag across the area you'd like to screenshot. When you let go of the button, the screenshot will be saved to your desktop with a file name starting with "screenshot". Use screenshots over cell phone images or words whenever possible...screenshots are higher resolution and easier to read.

Additionally, take a wider screenshot than you may initially think you need. Especially if you are posting asking for help with settings or Xcode build errors. Nightscout and Xcode have lots of valuable information off-to-the-side that many people dismiss, when really it can be valuable for troubleshooters.

Descriptive Language

Descriptive language doesn't mean the four-letter words that get you frowns at the cocktail parties. Instead, this phrase means to use the most accurate, detailed words that you can when asking for help. In summary, try to avoid the word "it" and instead use details and information to help fill in the story about why you're asking for help, what you've already tried, and what happened when you tried those things (including screenshots). Let's illustrate with a couple of examples.

Example 1

Bad: "It's not working." <----makes me wonder what "it" is? What part of "it" isn't working exactly? The app? The BG control? The pump integration? Alarms? Bolusing? Their Dexcom?

Ok: "My Loop app won't open." <---- Ok, so now I know the Loop app itself seems to be the problem, but still don't know if this is a build error or an error that has happened after building. The solutions would be different potentially.

Better: "My Loop app was working yesterday just fine, and now today it's not doing the things like I expect." <----- Getting closer. Now I know this is not a build error and that it sounds like a more recent issue. I'm starting to narrow down the potential causes...this is about as much detail as it takes for me, as a volunteer, to consider to start helping. I might not have to ask 42 questions but instead only 4 questions now to find the remaining information for troubleshooting. But, if there were more details...I'd be more likely to wade in to help because more details saves me from questions.

Awesome: "My Loop app was working yesterday just fine. Around lunch time, I went into the settings screen and made some adjustments and ever since it just turns white and closes no matter what I try." <---- DEFINITELY getting closer. Now I have a strong suspicion about where the bug is happening and can help with a couple links.

GOLD MEDAL WORTHY: "My Loop app was working yesterday just fine. Around lunch time, I went into the settings screen and made some adjustments to correction ranges. Ever since I did that, the app immediately turns white and shuts down. I have tried restarting my phone, but it has not fixed the problem. I tried searching the docs for 'loop closing' but didn't see results that matched my issue." <----- This person is doing an outstanding job of describing the problem. Lots of good details. Has shown initiative to try to use the resources already. Throw in a screenshot, if it was appropriate, and this person will have done an excellent job of helping all of us help him/her.

Example 2

Bad: "My Loop app won't build." <----- What step are you on? What kind of computer are you using? What macOS? What Xcode version? Have you built successfully before or is this new?

Ok: "I'm trying to update my Loop app to the new omnipod-testing branch, and am getting a few errors that I don't understand." <----- Wow, sure would be nice to know what those error messages are. Are they red or yellow? A screenshot sure would help here.

Better: "I have a macOS Mojave 10.14.5 computer with Xcode 10.3. Downloaded Loop-omnipod-testing branch this morning and I'm getting some red errors about an exit code that I don't understand." <----- Cool, now I don't have to ask if they updated their macOS like the directions say to do, and I can rule out Xcode being old. Still would be great to have screenshots so I can see the exact error message.

Awesome: "I have a macOS Mojave 10.14.5 computer with Xcode 10.3. Downloaded Loop-omnipod-testing branch this morning and I'm getting some red errors about an exit code that I don't understand. I've tried everything in the docs and nothing worked." <---- While I'm super happy they "tried everything", I'm no closer to knowing what the exact error message is nor which "stuff" exactly they tried.

GOLD MEDAL WORTHY: "I have a macOS Mojave 10.14.5 computer with Xcode 10.3. Downloaded Loop-omnipod-testing branch this morning and I'm getting some red errors about an exit code 645 that I don't understand. Here's the screenshot of the error message. I tried searching the docs for "exit code 645" and didn't see any responses that helped. I tried the "carthage update" solution but got an error message during that too...here's the screenshot for that as well." <---- OH BABY I love you. This is the kind of detail that will get you to an answer very fast.

A lot of time, the answer to your question for help will be answered with a link. Please don't take offense to getting a quick link back to LoopDocs or LoopTips. This is most often because the question is already answered there and the person is simply saving time by not typing out what already exists elsewhere.

If you've searched the docs and read the info already, then please include that in your post. That way you don't get linked back to the same part you're already confused about. Plus, letting us know when these docs can be improved is very useful.

Next Step: Download Loop Code

Now you are ready to move onto Step 13 to Download Loop Code.