maintaining kicker has meant that i'm dealing with the KDE bug tracking system quite a bit, which in turn has reminded me how frustrating it can be to deal with people who report bugs. so here's what i, and likely many other developers, look for in a bug reporter:
thoroughness is wonderful. those who report what led up to the bug, what happened at the moment the bug manifested itself and whether or not the bug is easily repeatable (and how to do so) make finding and fixing bugs so much easier. attaching relevant configuration files, backtraces and screenshots is also greatly appreciated.
clarity is divine. i don't care to read about your emotional state, the weather or other irrelevant details in a bug report. as Sgt Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts, ma'am". simple, clear language is like fresh spring water on a hot day.
i love people who maintain their bug reports. often more information is needed, and therefore requested, by the developer(s) and having a follow up reply by the reporter within a week or so i really nice. also, if the bug disappears in a new version it's really great when the bug reporter notes that development!
one bug, one report. while it may be faster to plop every problem one comes across into a single report, this makes it very difficult for the developers to use the bug tracker to manage reports. those who open up a new report for each bug/wish add to the value of the system.
vote for bugs, don't duplicate them. it's always appreciated when a reporter looks to see if the bug/wish they are about to file has already been reported. it saves us all time and effort.
staying within the bounds of your knowledge. if you aren't familiar with the source code of the application/component responsible for the bug report, don't try and guess what the solution is. you'll most likely be wrong, so it just adds noise.
be nice. coming across a bug may be frustrating, but its also pretty demotivating to be yelled at. threats and accusations are really not necessary, and may in fact decrease the odds of the report being dealt with. developers are people too.
i woke up yesterday to a locksmith changing the locks on my doors. turns out my landlord had finally gotten someone in to fix the doors and locks, which were in need of some TLC. good thing i had slept it and hadn't yet left for work otherwise the whole "need a key to get in" thing would've been kind of tricky. not that its hard to break into this place, i just prefer not to.
and that night i went to a friend's place for pizza, drinks and conversation. turns out both her and her friend know Amaretto and her friend Crazy Girl that i ran into the night before that.
life is so strange sometimes.
Foreign Affairs Canada has asked me to clarify for those reading my blog that not all Canadians are odd. my being Canadian and odd is just coincidental. they'd like me to note that there are many non-odd Canadians, and that i'd probably be considered "odd" regardless of my citizenship.
besides, we all know that if you are looking for odd ex-British colony type people, you should round up a Kiwi or three. especially the sort that relocate to Northern Europe. ;-P