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Author Topic: How to use the Bug Reporter: Steps to Reproduce  (Read 1388 times)

koonschi

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How to use the Bug Reporter: Steps to Reproduce
« on: October 20, 2016, 03:06:11 PM »
There have been quite some bug reports in the last weeks (which is awesome, thank you guys so much!), but I feel like there needs to be some clarification about what you should put into the report. People have been submitting reports where they straight-up told us they didn't know what to put in specific fields (which is perfectly fine by the way), and which is the main reason why I'm writing this right now.

First off: I know that when you're using the bug reporter, you're probably already annoyed or frustrated because you ran into a problem that you didn't like. I understand that. But if you want us to fix the bugs, then you have to provide a constructive report. To cut it short: If you make sure we understand the bug and can reproduce it, then we have to spend less time searching and can start fixing. Less time searching for bugs means more time for making features.


We must know these things:

What happened?
What did you do to make it happen?

There is already a form on the bug reporter which has all the fields ready that you need to fill out. There are reasons why the fields are there, we don't just put things there arbitrarily. Especially the "Steps to reproduce", since this is the most important field.


But it's so obvious, it happens all the time!

No. If a bug would have happened in our builds while testing, we would have fixed it. We don't ship bugs that we know of and that can be fixed.

That means: If you see a bug happen, then we didn't see it. If we didn't see it, then we didn't do the things that made the bug happen. If we don't know what makes the bug happen, we can't fix it. Easy as that.

Some bugs are obvious for you, but they can be related to your machine, your drivers, your operating system, your hardware specifications, or your playstyle. Avorion is a sandbox, maybe you're playing in a way that we haven't thought of. Again: If we would have found the bug while testing, we would have fixed it.


How to fill out the "Steps To Reproduce"

Now, when you provide information in the "Steps To Reproduce" field, then be precise. I'm saying this because this is the most important field for us to fix the bug. Again: If we don't know what causes the bug, we can't fix it. Something along the likes of "jus do the thigngs from above" or copy-pasting "Please give a more detailed description of how to reproduce the bug." ten times is not helpful. If you're already taking the time to make a bug report, thank you. Thank you a lot. You're helping make the game better for all of us. But please do it right.

A great example for "Steps to Reproduce" of an earlier bug (taken from an actual bug report):
Code: [Select]
For the Station dock crash:
- Start a new game, preferably in creative mode
- Have a shipyard generate a Station-Founding ship (any size will do)
- Get in the ship
- Find a suitable sector for a station
- Found the station
- Get back to that sector you founded your station at (because for some reason, if that's your only "ship" in the sector, it kicks you out into your drone and you go back to your home sector, or other vanilla destruction behaviors
- Enter your station
- Go to build mode inside your station
- Place a dock anywhere
- Game crashes.
This is what the steps to reproduce should look like. Fixing this crash took only a few minutes, because we could tell exactly when it happened, which told us what made it happen.

Providing the correct steps to reproduce a bug makes our daily dev life a lot easier, and I feel like it's not that much to ask when you're already taking the time to fill out a bug report. We have to spend less time searching, and that means more features.

Thank you all very much for your help, I hope this clears things up a bit.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 03:13:33 PM by koonschi »
#define TRUE FALSE // happy debugging suckers

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