I've been developing a content slider for WP. Was working fine on 2.9.1, but when moved to current version of WP, it generates the same error message on activation --> The plugin generated 3 characters of unexpected output during activation. If you notice “headers already sent” messages, problems with syndication feeds or other issues, try deactivating or removing this plugin.
As stvwlf points out above, where the message does not persist (is a one-time error during activation only), and the plugin works as expected without generating any additional errors, it's probably ok to let it go.
However, I did wish to share a new plugin with the WP community. As it is, I must supply a laughable caveat, but morevover, such will not fly for the vast majority of potential users, including myself.
There has to be a sensible way to discover the cause. More suggestions please....