Bug tracker

Revision as of 21:59, 12 July 2006 by Ray Lawrence (talk | contribs) (Tracking progress of bugs you have reported)

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Bug tracking is a very important part of a continous quality control process. Unlike most proprietary software programs, Moodle bug reporting and bug tracking information is open to everyone.

Please register on the Moodle bug tracker so you can file any bugs that you find and perhaps participate in discussing and fixing them.

"Bugs" not only includes software problems with current versions of Moodle, but also new ideas, feature requests and even constructive criticism of existing features.

The beauty of open source is that anyone can participate in some way and help to create a better product for all of us to enjoy. In this project, your input is very welcome!

General guidelines

The best bug reports follow this form:

  1. What I did. With as much specific detail as possible, including URLs of feeds or URLs of weblogs when appropriate!
  2. What I expected to have happen. Again, with detail. You expectation might mean that our instructions need to improve or our interface should be changed.
  3. What actually happened. (With detail.)
  • Screen shots can really help, too—as long as you also use text to explain what’s wrong.
  • Crash logs or error reports if something goes wrong. This can be done by turning on "debug" in your Admin configuration page. Debug is useful because it lets the problem solver know what the software was actually doing.

In summary stick with facts and present enough facts so someone else can try to duplicate the problem.

Tracking progress of bugs you have reported

You will receive email reports of updates to bugs you report unless you un-tick "Receive notifications of issue changes via email" on your personal page in the Bug Tracker.

Tracking bugs reported by others

Enter your Bug Tracker user name (this may be different to your Moodle.org user name) in the "Add CC" field for the bug you wish to track and click the "Save changes" button. You will receive email updates on the bug.

Developer comments

"What’s the hardest thing about a bug report?" Most of the time fixing the bug is the easiest part. Usually the hard part is reproducing the bug. The developer or problem solver needs to see how it is broke to be able to fix it. And if they can not duplicate the error, then they can not be sure that it is fixed.

Good bug reports contain as much detail as possible and are specific. Generalizing and leaping to conclusions in a bug report is not helpful and often incorrect.

For example, a bug report that only says "The RSS feed doesn’t support UTF-8" is not helpful. The developer knows that UTF-8 and RSS feeds are compatible. The problem solver has no idea of what the person sees and why they reported this bug. Now there has to be more communication (which is time) to determine what happened.

Consider a bug report which says that the descriptions for the specific RSS feed XYZ@abc shows as garbage characters rather than the expected characters.

See also