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A guide to submitting good bug/error reports

Introduction

I am deeply indebted to Simon Tatham's excellent "How to Report Bugs Effectively" - most of this is in the form of direct quotations, or a condensation of what he has so aptly written. I have taken some rewording liberties to expand the focus of his work, and remove personal references, as well. I appreciate Simon's permission to adapt his work here.

"it doesn't work"

Give the creators of the tool a little credit for some basic intelligence: if the program really didn't work at all, they would probably have noticed. Since they haven't noticed, it must be working for them. Therefore, either you are doing something differently from them, or your environment is different from theirs. They need information; providing this information is the purpose of a bug report. More information is almost always better than less.

Many programs, particularly free ones, publish their list of known bugs. Check this to see if the bug you've just found is already known or not. If it's already known, it isn't worth reporting again as a new bug . However, if you think you have more information than the report in the bug list, you might want to contact the developers anyway to add to the bug report. The new information you have may enable them to fix the bug more easily/sooner.

Specific developers / companies / groups have particular ways they like bugs to be reported. If the tool comes with its own set of bug-reporting guidelines, read and follow them!

"show me", or "show me how to show myself"

One of the very best ways you can report a bug is by showing it directly to the developer - either in person, or via a remote support session (like webex). Demonstrate the exact thing that goes wrong. Let them watch you run the software, watch how you interact with the software, and watch what the software does in response to your inputs.

They [should] know that software like the back of their hand: which parts they trust, and which parts are most likely to have faults. Intuitively, they know what to watch for. By the time the software does something obviously wrong, they may well have already noticed something subtly wrong earlier which might give them a clue. They can observe [almost]everything the system does during the test run, and they can pick out the important bits for themselves.

This may not be enough. They may decide they need more information, and ask you to show them the same thing again. They may ask you to talk them through the procedure, so that they can reproduce the bug for themselves as many times as they want. They might try varying the procedure a few times, to see whether the problem occurs in only one case or in a family of related cases. If you're unlucky, they may need to sit down for a couple of hours with a set of development tools and really start investigating. But the most important thing is to have the programmer looking at the computer when it goes wrong. Once they can see the problem happening, they can usually take it from there and start trying to fix it.

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
Hello
Uday
I'm interested in Nanotube
Uday
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
Prasenjit
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Debugging and supporting software systems. OpenStax CNX. Aug 29, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11350/1.2
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