We provide several mechanism for getting help. Whether you have run into a problem using Autoware, or you just want more information about some aspect of it not covered in the documentation, one of the below options should have you covered. Using the correct resource, particularly the interactive forums, will ensure you get a helpful response to your query quickly.
Autoware documentation will be available at our ReadTheDocs page in a future release. This documentation should be your first stop when learning how to use Autoware, or how a particular module works.
This documentation is still under construction.
The Autoware wiki provides information mainly on contributing to Autoware, including developer guidelines. If you are interested in contributing a bug fix, a new feature, or an entire new module to Autoware, stop by the wiki first and check the Developer's Guide. Complying with the Developer's Guide will ensure that your pull request gets merged faster.
Note: We are aware that the wiki documentation and the ReadTheDocs documentation are incomplete. Correcting this is a priority of the releases to be done in 2019. If you are willing to write documentation, please sign into GitLab and begin contributing. All contributions are welcome! As with any open source project, Autoware is improved as much by its users as by its developers.
When you have a problem that you cannot solve yourself using the documentation, your next stop should be the ROS Answers website. This is an Question and Answer site for ROS and software using it, such as Autoware.
Most importantly, before asking your question conduct a search for another question with the same problem. It is possible that someone else has already found the answer, so conducting a search may get you a solution to your problem much faster than asking a question and waiting for someone to respond.
If you don't find an answer to your problem by searching, then ask a new question explaining what is wrong in as much detail as you can. Please provide as much as possible of the following information. The more information you provide, the sooner you will get a useful response.
- Post the complete output for error messages, starting from the command that you ran. If the output is long, use a service such as GitLab Snippets or GitHub Gists and link that from your post. Copy the text using copy-and-paste, do not re-type it by hand.
- Do not post screenshots of text. Post the text itself. This aides people in searching for your error and makes it more likely that they will help you.
- If you are having a problem with a GUI tool, post a screenshot or movie of the tool showing the problem.
- Describe the environment in which you are running the software in as much detail as possible. Provide the names and versions of packages you are using, your platform/OS and version, hardware used, your compiler tool chain and version (if relevant), how you installed Autoware, etc.
- If possible, post a bag file (recorded using the rosbag tool of your system so that others can replay your data, reproduce the problem, and find a solution faster.
- Provide a complete and detailed set of steps to reproduce the problem. If someone can reproduce your problem, they are more likely to find a way to fix it quickly.
- If you are following a tutorial, provide a link to it and state where in the tutorial your problem occurs.
- Make the topic of your post or bug report or feature request detailed. A topic that says "Problem making it go" won't attract many people to help you.
- If you include code snippets, use the formatting function to make sure they appear correctly. Check the preview before you post.
- When you have a problem, Short, Self Contained, Correct (Compilable) Examples or Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable Examples help us reproduce your error quickly and thus get help to you quickly.
- Describe what you have done already to try and fix the problem or to find its cause. Understanding what you have already tried will ensure others do not waste time asking if you have tried something and allow them to more rapidly identify the cause of your problem.
Autoware provides a Slack chat for users and developers to communicate. You can join it by following this link and requesting an invitation. Invitations are sent automatically so you will not have to wait long.
However this is not an appropriate place to post general requests for support. You should only use the chat if a developer asks you to join to discuss your problem in more detail. For some requests, the nature of instantaneous chat can make it easier to understand the finer details of a problem.
Discourse discussion board
The Autoware category on the ROS Discourse discussion board is available as a forum for general discussion of Autoware, such as discussing architecture choices, discussing how to implement a new feature, or announcing a new algorithm you have added. However, Discourse is not an appropriate place to ask for help. If you are trying to solve a problem, please use the ROS Answers website.
If your problem is actually a bug in Autoware, then the issue tracker for the relevant repository should be your next port of call. If you do not know which repository is relevant (although hopefully discussion of your problem on the Discourse discussion board has identified that), then post an issue on the general Autoware repository and a developer will help you shift it to the correct place.
When posting a bug report, it is important to be as detailed and accurate as possible. The bug report template will help you fill in the necessary information, but in general all the same advice that applies to the Discourse discussion board also applies to filing a bug report. You should also post a debug trace if possible, to identify where in the source code the problem occurs.
When giving your bug report a title, do not include something in the title that indicates it is a bug report, such as starting the title with
Instead, use the
Bug issue label to indicate that it is a bug report.
Do not post requests for help on the issue trackers. They will be closed and you will be directed to the correct place to ask, slowing down the process of you getting help.
If Autoware doesn't do something you need or want, please file a feature request. We want Autoware to cover as many use cases as possible, but if we don't know about your necessary features, we can't put them on the roadmap.
When making a feature request, it helps to know as much about what you want. A feature request along the lines of "I want it to turn left more" will likely be ignored, but a feature request that begins "Handle multi-lane roundabouts in countries that drive on the left..." and provides detailed use cases is likely to attract attention.
When giving your feature request a title, do not include something in the title that indicates it is a feature request, such as starting the title with
Instead, use the
Enhancement issue label to indicate that it is a bug report.
General ROS-related support
If you have problems or queries that are related to ROS in general rather than specific to Autoware, please see the ROS support page for how to get help.
How not to get help
Please don't post support requests that are not related to Autoware, or are about general programming problems. There are more appropriate venues for those, such as Stack Overflow.
Do not contact the developers directly. Using the correct channels means everyone can see your question, and you are more likely to get a response. If you contact a few developers directly, that is a lot less eyes on your problem (and a lot more annoyed busy developers), and it also means that others cannot see the solution to your problem.
Do not post a request for help that just says "It doesn't work." No one will know how to help you.