Wednesday, October 05, 2005

How to Report Bugs Effectively

How to Report Bugs Effectively: "# The first aim of a bug report is to let the programmer see the failure with their own eyes. If you can't be with them to make it fail in front of them, give them detailed instructions so that they can make it fail for themselves.
# In case the first aim doesn't succeed, and the programmer can't see it failing themselves, the second aim of a bug report is to describe what went wrong. Describe everything in detail. State what you saw, and also state what you expected to see. Write down the error messages, especially if they have numbers in.
# When your computer does something unexpected, freeze. Do nothing until you're calm, and don't do anything that you think might be dangerous.
# By all means try to diagnose the fault yourself if you think you can, but if you do, you should still report the symptoms as well.
# Be ready to provide extra information if the programmer needs it. If they didn't need it, they wouldn't be asking for it. They aren't being deliberately awkward. Have version numbers at your fingertips, because they will probably be needed.
# Write clearly. Say what you mean, and make sure it can't be misinterpreted.
# Above all, be precise. Programmers like precision."
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