Bug reporting apathy

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Mark Style » Sun, 03 Feb 2002 16:03:31



My name is Mark, and I have a problem...

Part of supporting Open Source software is the reporting of bugs. Without
people reporting bugs, stuff doesn't get fixed. I realise that
intellectualy, but in reality I have trouble doing it.

If I do something which causes an app to crash, I have a tendency to
think 'oh well, I won't try doing that again'. It's like when you go to
the doctor and tell him that it hurts when you bend your arm back, and he
says 'well don't do it then'.

So how can I overcome this problem? Is there any kind of centralised bug
reporting place, so I don't have to hunt for the relevant person or group
to report it to? Or do I have to simply find the necessary willpower to
force myself to do it?

What do you do when you discover a potential bug?

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Kenneth Down » Sun, 03 Feb 2002 21:08:09



> My name is Mark, and I have a problem...

> Part of supporting Open Source software is the reporting of bugs. Without
> people reporting bugs, stuff doesn't get fixed. I realise that
> intellectualy, but in reality I have trouble doing it.

> If I do something which causes an app to crash, I have a tendency to
> think 'oh well, I won't try doing that again'. It's like when you go to
> the doctor and tell him that it hurts when you bend your arm back, and he
> says 'well don't do it then'.

> So how can I overcome this problem? Is there any kind of centralised bug
> reporting place, so I don't have to hunt for the relevant person or group
> to report it to? Or do I have to simply find the necessary willpower to
> force myself to do it?

> What do you do when you discover a potential bug?

Send an email to the author or bug-support team, whose address can usually
be found at their web site.

I have so far done this once, and I explained to them pretty much what you
said, but went on to say, "I don't even know how to do this."  

I got an immediate response, followed the instructions, and sent them some
dumps.  They responded back and I did it again.

From there I did not hear again.  The next day a new beta was announced,
and now I see they have released a new version.

The program was Pan.

This is my only case to offer, not much, but hope it helps.

--
------------------------------------------------------------------
Ken

After 13,000+ hours of tube-time in front of Win, I have opened
a new source for my OS and app needs.

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Terry Port » Sun, 03 Feb 2002 23:54:48


Mark Styles went insane and wrote the following
on his bedroom wall with an old crayon:

Quote:>What do you do when you discover a potential bug?

1/ re check to see if you can repeat the bug, and make sure it
*really* is a bug.

2a/ Fix it, and email the author a patch, as authors *love* this
kind of email, its like christmas ;-)
                              or

2b/ Email the author and advise him of the bug, and include all the
relevant info you have. Remember the author may have developed the
code on a Solaris box, not a Linux box. Hell the author may have
developed it on a Windows box too.

The author email is always in a tar.gs source and usually in any
package.

One thing you will find thats *markedly* different to reporting
Windows bugs, is that GPL authors *love* to hear about bugs.

Your mileage may vary, but I've received big "thank you" emails
for reporting bugs, and patches or complete new source within
4 hrs of reporting them over the last four years.

Sometimes the author will ask you to run some tests, such as doing
a "strace <program>" and sending it to him. And many times you
will find that there was no bug, but that it was *your* problem.

Terry
--
.......... (Sig based on an original work by Jim Richardson) ...........
Windows box
 *click*
    "Thank you for  installing annoying email trojan, have a nice day"

Linux box
 *click*
    "Hey, please chmod me, and then run me, ok?"
        "c'mon, s'important"
            "Hey! I am talking to you pal!"
                "what! don't look at my code !!!!!!!"
........................................................................

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Arthu » Mon, 04 Feb 2002 00:58:13




>>My name is Mark, and I have a problem...

>>Part of supporting Open Source software is the reporting of bugs. Without
>>people reporting bugs, stuff doesn't get fixed. I realise that
>>intellectualy, but in reality I have trouble doing it.

>>If I do something which causes an app to crash, I have a tendency to
>>think 'oh well, I won't try doing that again'. It's like when you go to
>>the doctor and tell him that it hurts when you bend your arm back, and he
>>says 'well don't do it then'.

>>So how can I overcome this problem? Is there any kind of centralised bug
>>reporting place, so I don't have to hunt for the relevant person or group
>>to report it to? Or do I have to simply find the necessary willpower to
>>force myself to do it?

>>What do you do when you discover a potential bug?

> Send an email to the author or bug-support team, whose address can usually
> be found at their web site.

Mailing lists are a good place too, if the project has one.
Big projects like KDE, Gnome and mozilla have bug reporting
facilities built in ('talk back' on mozilla, "Report Bug" on
any KDE Help menu).

Quote:> I have so far done this once, and I explained to them pretty much what you
> said, but went on to say, "I don't even know how to do this."  
> I got an immediate response, followed the instructions, and sent them some
> dumps.  They responded back and I did it again.
> From there I did not hear again.  The next day a new beta was announced,
> and now I see they have released a new version.
> The program was Pan.
> This is my only case to offer, not much, but hope it helps.

That's pretty typical in my experience as a user. As a
sort-of developer for the last year, you can't appreciate
how valuable any user feedback is. A lot of developers
see install problems/bugs as top priority items, and
feature requests/usability problems are taken seriously
too (although probably not as quickly).

I'm sorry to say I've been more like Mark except on bugs
that are critical to me. I just assume somebody else will
report if I don't. Hopefully I'll start extending the
courtesy to other developers that I'd like to see others
extend to me.

Arthur

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Marc Jorda » Mon, 04 Feb 2002 01:01:51


   Any great package has a reporting bug system. Personally
I have only reported a kernel bug, and I exactly followed the
procedure that is said in the kernel source tree. To be honest
and give Linux the honours it deserves, I was answered in less
than a day :

1) by the responsable person
2) with a better way to solve things than the one I suggested
3) even when some more people have reported the same bug

   That's a great support for sure.

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Marc Jorda » Mon, 04 Feb 2002 01:03:21


   You are in fact right, and I'll take your post as a suggestion,
so I am starting to use 2.5.x in a test machine. I think it is time
for me to play with alpha software again thanks :)

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Linon » Mon, 04 Feb 2002 04:40:40


After takin' a swig o' grog, Kenneth Downs belched out this bit o' wisdom:

Quote:> Send an email to the author or bug-support team, whose address can usually
> be found at their web site.

> I have so far done this once, and I explained to them pretty much what you
> said, but went on to say, "I don't even know how to do this."  

> I got an immediate response, followed the instructions, and sent them some
> dumps.  They responded back and I did it again.

> From there I did not hear again.  The next day a new beta was announced,
> and now I see they have released a new version.

> The program was Pan.

> This is my only case to offer, not much, but hope it helps.

Gnome does that too, presenting a link you can click.

--
A day without some form of UNIX sucks

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by Linon » Mon, 04 Feb 2002 04:46:32


After takin' a swig o' grog, Marc Jordan belched out this bit o' wisdom:

Quote:

>    Any great package has a reporting bug system. Personally
> I have only reported a kernel bug, and I exactly followed the
> procedure that is said in the kernel source tree. To be honest
> and give Linux the honours it deserves, I was answered in less
> than a day :

> 1) by the responsable person
> 2) with a better way to solve things than the one I suggested
> 3) even when some more people have reported the same bug

>    That's a great support for sure.

Yeah, when's the last time Bill Gates answered you personally?

"Uh, lookit here, you didn't set this entry properly:
\\HKEY_USER_YOKEL\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsNT\XPversion\Activation\PC\
MyMachine\NoItsMS'sMachine\ActivationMask should be set to
'WER87 DSFF9 SDFS0 DSFF1 908CD 3432D 32498 WXDFQ QWRER BLMER',
not to 'HACK ME'.  You obviously DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE THE
SOFTWARE, YOU IDIOT.  WHY ARE YOU *ING WASTING MY TIME???!!!
Melinda, get me another *ing cheeseburger!!!"

On second thought, the less heard from MS, the better.

--
A day without some form of UNIX sucks

 
 
 

Bug reporting apathy

Post by mjcr » Fri, 08 Feb 2002 08:26:20



on Sat, 02 Feb 2002 at 14:03 GMT,


> What do you do when you discover a potential bug?

I verify it as much as possible, gather the particulars of it and when
possible debug it create a patch and send the patch and the information
about it back to the devlopers.

For a current project I am working on, I could not find any software that
matched the project's requirements perfectly.  I settled on one program that
almost fit the requirements, patched it to provide the missing
functionality, and I email the patch and a description of its purpose back
to the developer of the software.

If you can not create a patch, provide what you can to the devlopers.  Some
have a bug tracking system.  For others you would email to the head or only
programmer on the project.  In the source tar or he project's home page, you
should find the contact information for that particular project.

--
I run Linux, no *y RedHat, Debian, Slackware, or Corel, just Linux.
May all that you wish upon me and mine be visited upon you ten fold.

 
 
 

1. Bug report bounced + bug report

Hi,


by the 2.2.23 documents, but got a bounce message:                      
                       The Postfix program


    no data record of requested type

Here is the bug report:

Subject: Cannot boot Compaq Smart Array 532 with grub on 2.2.23

Hi,

Well, subject says it all really. Here is a (minimal) patch:

--- main.c.orig Fri Feb 28 15:56:54 2003

        { "sdn",     0x08d0 },
        { "sdo",     0x08e0 },
        { "sdp",     0x08f0 },
+       { "cciss/c0d0p",0x6800 },
+       { "cciss/c0d1p",0x6810 },
        { "rd/c0d0p",0x3000 },
        { "rd/c0d1p",0x3008 },
        { "rd/c0d2p",0x3010 },

Cheers,

Han Holl

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