Gordon Dexter on 16 Feb 2009 20:28:20 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] bug squashing

Splitting topic for easier reading.  Don't worry about sending more than 
one email, if you are responding to or creating more than one topic; it 
keeps the list easier to read.

jeff wrote:
> Dear Ubuntu bug squashers:
> I am an Xubuntu user of a few years.  How can I possibly help the effort 
> to squash bugs when I can barely identify a shell script?
> I want to help but let's just say I'm not a coder.
> Signed,
> Moping in MontCo
The easiest answer is to find the bugs.  Try a beta version, do 
unexpected things with it, and write down everything you can think of 
that doesn't work like it seems it is supposed to.  Color scanner only 
works in black and white mode?  Write it down.  Program crashes?  
Permissions errors?  Anything unexpected?  Write it down.  Take copious 
notes on where each error occurred, what you were doing at the time, get 
a copy or screenshot of any error messages, and then see if you can 
figure out a reliable way to reproduce the problem.  If you have more 
than one computer with Xubuntu, try doing the same on a different 
computer.  Mention any relevant information about your hardware or 
software setup.

A good bug report would be something like:
"Sound stops working with PCM to surround option on X-fi USB hardware:
To reproduce this problem, plug in an X-fi USB sound device, open kmix, 
and set the PCM to surround option, then play any song using JuK.  JuK 
crashes with the following error message (insert long traceback here) 
and then all sound stops working until you reboot.  I've duplicated this 
on my laptop running Xubuntu 8.04.1 and my desktop running Xubuntu 
8.10.  I don't have any other USB sound cards to test, but it doesn't 
happen with my integrated sound on either computer."

Also, do your best to not tinker with config files, and don't install 
unsupported packages, to maximize the usefulness of your bug reports.

It's probably best to let somebody more experienced review your findings 
before you open public bugs, to avoid creating too many bugs based on 
user error, but keep in mind that Ubuntu considers usability/UI problems 
to be valid bugs.

There are probably others on the list more familiar with the actual 
process of submitting bugs, but the most important part of beta testing 
is making good reports, not knowing how to submit them.  If I've missed 
any important things that should be included in a bug report then I'm 
sure somebody else on the list will chime in.

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