How to write a great bug report

We know you don’t like bugs. We don’t like them either. But as they’re an unavoidable part of software, it’d be good for us to share how best to report issues to us to speed things along.

In short, here’s a great rule: If we can’t reproduce the bug, we can’t fix the bug.

When you report a bug to us, here’s what happens:

  1. We read the bug report
  2. One of us tries to reproduce the bug
  3. If we can reproduce it, we investigate what’s broken and fix it.
  4. But if we can’t reproduce the bug…

Often bug reports don’t include enough information. This means we have go back and ask for details so we can investigate. If you want to increase the odds we fix an issue, and fix it fast, help us out.

A great bug report includes the following:

  1. What were you trying to do?
  2. What did you click on or do last?
  3. What happened / what did you see?
  4. What browser are you using?
  5. What version of WordPress?
  6. What hosting provider? (And if you know, what version of PHP do they use?)
  7. The bug is reported to the right place (For Jetpack, Go here)

You don’t need to be verbose. A sentence for each is often just fine.  And bug reports that show screenshots for #3 are incredibly useful, as we can see exactly what you saw.

Bonus points for reviewing known issues before submitting, as your problem might already have been reported, and have a patch or a workaround (For Jetpack, known issues are listed here).

We work hard to have you deal with as few issues as possible, but if you want to improve the odds we can fix your issue fast, please take a extra minute to write a bug report that’s easier for us to use.  Thanks.

This entry was posted in bug reports and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to How to write a great bug report

  1. shermacman says:

    Straight up, dude. Writing software is a complicated business. Nicely handled.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree on this. Scott, you’ve done a great service in laying out why more information is needed in bug reports. I’ve shared your article with my audience at http://typo3vagabond.com/13521/wordpress/how-to-write-a-great-bug-report-from-jetpack/.

    Thank you for this, I was needing to write up something similar soon for work. Now I don’t have to. :)

  3. Here’s my bug report for subscribing to comments. A reader emailed me saying the all links in the automated emails from WordPress.com are busted. Instead of having my site and post name as the url, all the URLs look like this:

    http:/?p=29033#comment-115560

    Let me know how I can help. I’m disabling comment subscriptions for now but can send along the email and provide more details of my site privately if needed.

  4. Nice list of what to include in the bug report. One suggestion: add the operating system, and if possible, the version of the operating system.

  5. Where can bug reports for Jetpack be submitted? There’s no email address on the Support page, nor any other contact info on the website.

  6. Pingback: How to write a great bug report « WPcomMaven

  7. Marcel says:

    I have upgraded to 1.2.1 but the Stats graph does not work. Disabled it and reactivated it still no joy. The counters go up but no graph just the WordPress animateed W. I have my website hosted with one.com

  8. The graph does not work for me either.

    I am using WordPress 3.2.1 and Jetpack site stats was working fine until I upgraded to v1.2 – then the page loads and textual stats are shown, but no graphs are displayed showing history – just the animated wordpress logo. Upgraded to v1.2.1 and still same problem. I have tried disabling and re-activating buit still no joy. Nothing else on my site or host has changed.

    Sounds like the same problem Marcel (above) and many others are getting.

  9. Pingback: How to write a bug report | OSClass

  10. sattracer says:

    I too am having the same problem as Marcel and dizzybigfishlan, exactly the same. But on the laptop all is well. Any ideas?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58,266 other followers

%d bloggers like this: