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[HOW TO] [Q&A] How to best phrase a request to receive the most suitable answer?

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By noc.jfcbs, Recognized Contributor on 24th June 2016, 09:25 AM
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INDEX:
  1. Background
  2. Purpose
  3. General Recommendations
  4. When You Post in a Thread
  5. Credits
  6. Themes (at post #2)
  7. Tutorials, Help Threads & Guides (at post #3)
  8. Reports about Battery Life or Endurance (at post #4)
  9. Possible WiFi Drops (at post #5)

Background: Following some threads in this forum I've pretty early realised that quite a few bug reports, requests and questions are raised without sufficient information to allow developers (dev), recognised contributors (RCs) or other members to easily provide solid answers and recommendations or a possible fix. Everybody should remember even the highly professional dev cannot read your mind.

Purpose: To provide some recommendations how to best phrase a request to receive the most suitable answer.

General recommendations:
  1. Please read the XDA Forum Rules provided by @MikeChannon; from my personal point of view a definite MUST READ for everybody who intends to post on XDA or to contribute to this great site. Other MUST READ's I certainly recommend to everybody who wants to "breathe" what I believe the spirit of XDA is, are the following posts:Do me the favour and really inhale what I just linked above!
  2. Remember: Before you flash anything take a NANDROID backup or ensure you've an up-to-date one!
  3. Before you post your issue or request, reboot at least once and try to replicate your problem. If it doesn't persist any longer the reboot might already have been the solution.
  4. Read, read, and read again, read the OPs (first post of each thread) and scan the respective thread. Use the search function of XDA (in-thread search is so good). Also, you can use a web search. It means you have to read and study but I've no doubt you don't mind to do that for your device. With all this, you'll probably find your answer without having to post something.
    A lot of OPs already contain hints how to solve commonly known issues, e.g. the [ROM][6.0.1][i9305 OFFICIAL] Resurrection Remix® M v5.7.3 OP by @rodman01 provides at the very end information and workarounds for random reboots during calls, camera crashes (see also post #43) or how to convert filesystem Ext4 to F2FS and vice versa.
  5. You have first to know by yourself if your issue could be ROM or Kernel related. If you don't, post and see how it goes. Occasionally, the issue seems to be ROM or kernel related on the first glance but it isn't. For example, MMS sending or receiving issues are mostly related to somehow wrong or bad APN settings, or the baseband/modem isn't suitable for the respective local region or the desired carrier. A guide in regard to fixing of MMS issues is linked at post #3.
  6. Before you post in a ROM development thread, be sure you do not run a custom kernel or Xposed (you should disable all Xposed modules and see if your issue still persists). Despite this, if you use a custom kernel or use Xposed and you're 100% sure it's ROM related, maybe you could post.
  7. Last but not least: Don't ask what e.g. the best ROM or kernel is! All ROM, kernel, etc. available at xda are great but each one has its different specification, capabilities, pro's and con's. The best one for you is the one, which meets your desires and expectations.

When you post in a thread:
  1. Post questions in Q&A forums or threads instead of DEV forums. But if you have a solid bug report (never reported before and fulfilling all the required criteria, check below) with all needed info, you can post in a DEV thread.
  2. Don't make a dev, RC or anybody else to read your mind.
  3. Don't have a dev, RC, or anybody else to make assumptions. As soon as an assumption fails the whole solution is going to become void.
  4. Please post your issue or request by using the English language as mentioned in the XDA rules to allow everybody to understand the post and hopefully to contribute to or at least to learn out of it. Don't be afraid if English isn't your native tongue - that's certainly the case for most of the xda users. English isn't an issue here - as long as we all at least try to use this language. Even if your English skills aren't too developed just use simple wording; nobody is going to blame you; however, try to be as precise and unambiguous as possible.
  5. Always run a logging tool to be able to augment your post by a log (logcat) file. Add the log as an attachment to your post or upload it on the cloud and paste the public link in your post. It doesn't matter, which logging tool you use but familiarise yourself with its use and where it saves the log. I'm e.g. using an app called "Catlog" that saves logs to the internal memory. Also you can use the MatLog app or use adb commands (HERE is a guide/tutorial)
    If you're running Xposed uninstall it, and take the log again (while Xposed is running, the log even states that it's useless because of Xposed).
  6. Take screenshots (quite often via buttons "Vol-" & "Pwr" or "Home" & "Pwr" depending on the ROM you use) or if more suitable a screen record (quite often via buttons "Vol+" & "Pwr") and attach them/it to your post. Before you take a screenshot or record, change your system language to English to allow everybody to understand the content of the screen. Some ROM provide these functionalities in the menu of the power button, too; however, they must be enable within the ROM settings.
  7. Always provide exact and precise information about your issue. Write a description and, if possible, steps to reproduce.
  8. Always provide exact and precise information about your device, the ROM, the kernel, your recovery, and specify the versions of the latter three. Occasionally information about your modem (or even bootloader) might also be helpful e.g. if you've problems with the RIL, mobile network or making phone calls. If you're on F2FS please mention.
  9. If your issue or problem occurred immediately after you freshly flashed a ROM or kernel, please describe your installation procedure (clean, dirty, or describe when you wiped and/or formatted what). Please provide information, from which ROM or kernel you came.
  10. If you have issues with anything from Google, specify the GApps version you flashed.
  11. If you're using Xposed (not recommended when reporting bugs), please provide this important information including version and its developer as well as the modules you use.
Credits:
  • @Wood Man for commenting the initial draft and the highly valuable contributions.
  • @西村大一 for providing helpful comments to keep this thread valuable.

EDIT (2016-09-11) Reports about battery life or endurance:
Moved to post#4.
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24th June 2016, 09:26 AM |#2  
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Themes
In addition to all statements in the OP, themes might be able to heavily influence system/ROM performance and behaviour; however, all pending on the used ROMs. Themes could mess things up on specific ROMs.

I personally got black screens on my GT-I9305 in the combination of a specific theme used, Resurrection Remix (MM) and Xposed. Switching to a different theme (PitchBlack | DarkRed CM13/12), which was developed by a Resurrection Remix dev (Altan KRK (westcrip)), solved the issue. Another RC experienced and reported to have had issues related to themes when he tested CM12.1 and CM13.

On the other hand, e.g. some Sammy stock based Android 4.4.4 ROMs (e.g. AMCHA ROM, N4 ELITE, TGP, etc) even don't have a theme engine, and shouldn't make the above mentioned trouble.

As said, it depends on the used ROM! But if you experience issues I suggest at least to consider your theme to be possibly involved. Guess it's pretty easy to switch to the stock design, probably to reboot, and to check if the issue persists. However, I like to stress again, it depends on the used ROM!

Thanks to @Wood Man who first pointed me to the solution to my above mentioned issue, and second who doesn't get tired in providing hints for this thread!
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24th June 2016, 09:26 AM |#3  
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Tutorials, Help Threads & Guides
  1. What is? Boot loader, custom ROMs, CWM, modem, kernel, flashing, rooting, ADB, baseband?? by @esimon311. Thanks to esimon311 for this great overview.
  2. [GUIDE] Most up to date guide on CPU governors, I/O schedulers and more! by @Saber. Thanks to Saber (formerly gsstudios) for this great guide.
  3. [Tutorial] How To Logcat by @paxChristos. Thanks to paxChristos for this great tutorial.
  4. [HELP THREAD][i9300][i9305] Ask any Question. Noob friendly. by @limjh16. Thanks to limjh16 for providing great support.
  5. [HELP THREAD] Galaxy S3 - Ask any question. by @tommypacker. Thanks to tommypacker for having set up this great help thread.
  6. [Q&A] to [INDEX] Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE - ROMs, Kernels, MODs, Recoveries, Themes established by the "QA bot".
  7. [GUIDE][26-07-2016]Extreme Battery Life Thread(Greenify+Amplify+Power Nap) by @v7. Thanks to v7 for having set up this great guide.
  8. Idle Battery Drain on Stock ROM (XPosed & Amplify Required!) by @Celestial Fury. Thanks to Celestial Fury for having set up this great guide.
  9. [HOW TO] Fix GPS location/locking to satellites issue by @Maho_66. Thanks to MaHo_66 for this great procedure.
  10. [GUIDE] SIM-unlock your i9305 by @西村大一, formerly known as "Alexander_the_B0ss". Thanks to 西村大一 for this useful guide.
  11. [GUIDE] [HOW TO] [FIX] MMS sending error on 5.1 to 7.1 AOSP and CM based ROMs by @alias_ z3d. Thanks to alias_z3d for this useful guide.
  12. How did I enhance the battery duration of my SGS 3 LTE (GT-I9305)? by me.
  13. A short story by me how I installed microG and related application on my GApps-free device is available here.
If any of the above information has been of help for you please hit the thanks button in the respective OP!
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24th June 2016, 09:27 AM |#4  
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Reports about Battery Life or Endurance
If you observe abnormal battery performance, duration or life from your point of view, please take and check battery statistics yourself!
Please do NOT post anything beforehand (e.g. in the Q&A thread)!
From my personal point of view, a recommendable application to check battery stats is “BetterBatteryStats” but there a lot of similiar apps available. The OP of “BetterBatteryStats” provides you with good information about wakelocks and battery life in general, too.
Take your stats for some hours or even better a few days (and nights). Try to figure out if wakelocks persist that are triggered by apps or processes. If you are able to identify e.g. such an app, try first yourself if the issue gets fixed by de-installation of such an app. Think about getting in touch with the app's developer.
ONLY if it’s finally ROM or kernel related, post in Q&A section or dev section but observe these prerequisites:
Battery stats screenshots, AND logs, AND as many details as possible.

Good battery endurance paired with a "smooth" system behaviour seems to be priority number one for everybody for obvious reasons. However, regularly nobody clearly defines what a good battery endurance or life means. Is it the 24+ hrs, which satisfies the one, but 16 hrs already the other? Discussions about the battery seem to continue just knowing the type of device and probably the ROM but ignore the overall system and especially personal behaviour and preferences of the device's owner.
Besides ROM and kernel, a lot of different things are obviously effecting the battery:
  • How do you use your phone? Heavy load gaming? Screen permanently on while staring on "grimacebook" or "whogivesa..."?
  • What are the application running on the device, and which have permission for auto-start at boot or to stay awake? Which and how many applications do run in the background, and are eating fuel?
  • Age, capacity, and type of the battery.
  • Mobile data always ON or not.
  • WiFi always ON or not.
  • Cell network coverage and reception.
  • Screen brightness level.
  • Abnormal wakelocks triggered by crappy apps.
  • etc. etc. etc.
Prior to a decision for a specific tariff plan, analysis of the consumer behaviour in regard to number, duration, network of calls, text messages, and data consumption is desired. In turn, evaluation of battery life appears to require a similar approach by assessing the topics stated in the list above. Literally, at least I personally deem to be unable to advice anybody else but me how good battery life is or how to improve it.
It's somehow useless for different users to compare or ask for battery life between ROMs / Kernels since we all have different behaviours, different ways to configure the phone, and different apps installed.

For completeness, I'd like to mention there're multiple applications and Xposed modules around, which are supposed to extend endurance of a battery, e.g. Greenify, Amplify, or Power Nap in order just to mention a few. A web search might drag you to the ones that are best suited to you, and you always need to evaluate for yourself if they serve the advertised purpose and your requirements. Be also aware that some of them require the Xposed framework to function or for full functionality. Some guides are linked at post#3. If interested in privacy I suggest to thoroughly read the reviews of the respective tool, have its point or country of origin in mind, and search the web. Nearly all are requesting root privileges and/or use the Xposed framework i.e. are going to have more or less unlimited access to your device. Good news are many of them are open source, and at least the ones I mentioned above don't require access to the internet to function. I'd personally ensure that they mustn't pass the firewall (e.g. AFWall+ by @ukanth or NetGuard by Marcel Bokhorst (@M66B).
(edited with the help of and thanks to @Wood Man)

EDIT (2016-10-11): In this thread, I tried to explain how I did enhance the battery duration of my SGS 3 LTE (GT-I9305); however, maybe it's also suitable to other devices (I'm convinced it is).
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24th June 2016, 09:31 AM |#5  
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Possible WiFi Drops
@Wood Man allowed me to quote him reagrding WiFi drops that occured to him several times. It never happened to me because my setup was (just by accident) always different; however, if WiFi drops occur to you please have a look below. The explanation is so reasonable and makes so much sense from my point of view. Thanks very much to Wood Man for sharing his knowledge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood Man

...

Here is a feedback about an old issue I've reported about wifi drops: previous reports HERE and HERE.

I can say the problem is not the ROM neither the kernel. Everything is OK on your side rodman . The problem is just because I use Wi-Fi 2.4ghz and bluetooth at the same time. Since bluetooth uses the same 2.4 ghz frequency, it explains the problem: INTERFERENCES while streaming on both wifi and bluetooth at the same time!
It's a known and common issue with wireless devices. One culprit should be wifi or bluetooth drivers which not handle perfectly both connections at the same frequencies. Some devices well built, with good drivers, can handle this well AFAIK. It's never perfect because other sources of interferences exist.

One solution should be to use wifi 5ghz (if available on router, and device).

Another solution is to use better bluetooth devices which handle better bluetooth/wifi protocol, using the same frequency.
...

Quote:

About drainage, I don't know. But could be...

The interferences happen only while streaming. I mean we can connect both wifi 2.4 and bluetooth at the same time without problem, the connection stays, but inteferences happen only when sound goes to audio bluetooth device.

Quote:

Forgot to say that even if wifi 2.4 doesn't drop, the wifi transfer speed could very very slow in case of interferences with bluetooth streaming. (It's my case with my P9 Lite).

UPDATE (2017-05-26): Please find some additional, new information of @Wood Man at post #59:
Quote:

...
I did a house moving recently and now I can use both Wifi 2,4 ghz and bluetooth at the same time without issues. The differences between my previous flat and my new one are:

1- A new router,
2- Less Wifi networks around me.

I bet point #2 above is the key because there are less interferences now in my flat ...

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24th June 2016, 09:34 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aminewolf

#Outoftopic
Feels good to give the freshly joined juniors a lesson on how to use the search function doesn't it

Actually not; I don't want to appear as a schoolmaster. That's the reason why I decided to create this thread.
I already asked FLooDW, but I'm also looking forward to your opinion?
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24th June 2016, 01:58 PM |#7  
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Hi @noc.jfcbs,

Thanks for your thread, your time, your recent contributions and credits you gave to me
This is a good idea, I really hope a lot of members will read and apply your recommendations.
As you requested my opinion, I've done some modifications in your OP here below within the HIDE tags. Maybe some more adjustments will be necessary, I don't know yet.
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24th June 2016, 02:37 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLooDW

Hi @noc.jfcbs,
Thanks for your thread, your time, your recent contributions and credits you gave to me
This is a good idea, I really hope a lot of members will read and apply your recommendations.
As you requested my opinion, I've done some modifications in your OP here below within the HIDE tags (sorry for XDA Labs users who will see the the whole modified OP). I will for sure update my post once the OP is modified (if you want to do so). Maybe some more adjustments will be necessary, I don't know yet. ...

@FLooDW, your suggestion is at least 10x better than my (let's call it) initial draft. Thank you very much for taking your time and having a look. ...actually it was much more than that. I did appreciate it.
OP is modified and waiting for further adjustments. Guess you can update your post now. CU
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24th June 2016, 02:54 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noc.jfcbs

@FLooDW, your suggestion is at least 10x better than my (let's call it) initial draft. Thank you very much for taking your time and having a look. ...actually it was much more than that. I did appreciate it.
OP is modified and waiting for further adjustments. Guess you can update your post now. CU

OK thanks for including my changes
My post is now edited.
Also, I've already added your thread in my signature
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25th June 2016, 01:09 AM |#10  
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This is a very good thread, contribution and idea. The only problem to me is that it is in a secluded forum (quite) you may want to ask a moderator to move this to general forums or such.

Sent from my GT-I9305 using XDA Labs
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25th June 2016, 08:30 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limjh16

This is a very good thread, contribution and idea. The only problem to me is that it is in a secluded forum (quite) you may want to ask a moderator to move this to general forums or such.

Yes I was thinking quite the same. I'm not sure this thread is at the right place. But in another hand I think it could be a good idea to keep it in dev forum because the purpose is to advertise members to post the right way in dev threads. It could be discussed
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