Handcrafting a Bug Report Like a Champion (part 1)
This is the first part on a two series article on how to Handcrafting a Bug Report Like a Champion. We will cover the Substance part in this blogpost.
Software bugs are a common way to describe a fault which causes a program to behave in an unintended way. The customers and the programmers both dislike bugs as they signal that there is something wrong. A typical case scenario, is when a customer purchases a module or a theme and for some reason he/she can't get it to work. Having raised expectations before the purchase the customer hurries on to send an angry email to the developer simple saying "My extension doesn't work, fix it!". Just as there are two sides of the coin, both customers and developers view bug reports in a different way. From the customers' perspective a bug report is the message that the customer sends when something is not working. Whereas the developer views the bug report as the needed information to get the problem fixed.
1) One-Line summary
Its always a good idea to state the problem in the beginning of your bug report.
- Bad example: iSearch functionality, iSearch issue, ISSUE, Bug!!!!, Bug on iSearch.
- Good example: The iSearch does not return results in the SKU when my search starts with "0".
2) URL (web address)
After having acknowledged the problem it is a good idea to send the store URL with the admin credentials since the developers would want to take a closer look and investigate the problem.
- Bad example: I am logging in my website ( no website is displayed ), on my product page where you are seeing an iPod for sale, in the product directory
- Good example: http://demos.isenselabs.com/organica/index.php?route=product/category&path=18_46
3) What you expect vs. What actually happens
It is important to weigh in your expectations versus the real outcome.
- Bad example: I click on iCustomFooter in Drop us a Line and submit and get an error.
- Good example: When I go to the iCustomFooter "Drop a line" column and enter my email, upon submitting the form I get an error.
4) How to repeat the scenario
Although OpenCart is not quite browser pretentious the General Practice says that the iteration is the key to a successful bug fix.
- Good example:
1. Open Google Chrome 20.0
2. Login to: demos.isenselabs.com/arredo/admin
3. Go to Modules and Select iAnalytics
4. Go to Searches Tab
Last but not least a screenshot with the scenario always comes handy so make sure you add this to the recipe. Feel free to use arrows, pointers and/or text, however, as with everything do not overuse them.
A famous poet once said that every problem starts with bad communication. We can simply get things going in our favor by having the right communication, which is beneficial to both parties. It is a showcase of a win-win.