Researcher Involvement With PlanetLab Europe

We have made some changes to the way support is handled so that more people can participate while allowing the PlanetLab support team the ability to track tickets. We have put together a configuration that has most of the look-and-feel of a mailing list (so that people can simply respond to messages and the right things happen) while still tracking each request.

Because the PlanetLab support team will go over every support request to make sure it is properly resolved, the support system is not meant to be a discussion list. We want to move discussions to {arch,users,devel} quickly where there will be more subscribers who will want to follow and respond to list-specific threads. For details on these lists, see the PlanetLab Mailing Lists page.

PlanetLab support interacts with a variety of people who have a broad range of experience, expertise, and patience. We don't want to alienate new users or outside system administrators who may be contacting us with what they believe to be a serious matter. It is paramount that responses are prompt, professional, and accurate.

  • Please only respond to questions where you can make a positive contribution. Do not guess, unless you're the expert on the topic. Questions from outside PlanetLab should usually be left to staff at Princeton.
  • Be courteous and not judgmental. Flame wars are not tolerated. Do not push your personal agenda (e.g., "you asked about sprockets, but I think you want my cogs instead"). Do not reply "RTFM."
  • Support is not a discussion list. If a question spawns a discussion, the discussion should be moved from support to a discussion list as quickly as possible.

Note: When you reply to a message on support, it will go through our request tracking system (RT) and be forwarded to the original requestor, to anyone on the CC list for the ticket (more below), and to everyone subscribed to PlanetLab support. Because the mail goes through RT and it is RT that redistributes the mail, the list of recipients is not in the mail header. Instead, the requestor and the CC list for the ticket appears at the top of each message. For example:

Email Recipients
Ticket Ccs:

Whenever RT receives a message, it incorporates the CC list on the mail header into the CC list for the ticket. So, to include others on the ticket initially or to add them later in the thread, simply CC them on the return mail and RT will pick this up for the follow-up messages. Note that once someone (or a list) has been added to the CC list, they cannot be removed.

Note: A natural consequence of this feature is that people may receive two copies of a message. For example, if you CC someone in a reply, your mailer will send a copy of the message directly; when RT diseminates the message those on the CC list may then receive a second copy.