Creating bug reports and feature requests in the Public Issue Tracker

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Revision as of 18:33, 6 October 2009 by Fritz Linden (Talk | contribs)

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If you feel lost and don't know where to begin, see the starter guide on the blog, "How to report bugs better".

Stay recent

You can check the to stay current with recent changes to Second Life. Sometimes you may discover the context around a new bug, or find that a change was intentional. For example, not being able to set content permissions to both no-transfer and no-copy is a feature, not a bug.

You should also make sure your video drivers are up to date. These are normally obtained from the website of your graphics hardware manufacturer, usually either the NVIDIA official site or the ATI official site.

Determine if the issue has already been submitted

Avoiding duplicate issues is very important. Sorting through duplicates wastes time and effort for both Linden Lab and fellow Residents, and it causes bugs and feature proposals to seem like they are getting less attention. It is more effective to concentrate efforts on the same problem in a single issue, especially since more-active issues get a higher priority.

Once you are logged into the Public Issue Tracker, your Dashboard gives you access to search filters which can help you find the most up-to-date information on submitted issues. For example, you can choose filters to show all unresolved (unfixed or untested) issues within each project, then begin a text search on those results by editing the filter. Of course you may create and save your own filters at any time, or simply run a new search from the Quick Search box. Either way, it is best practice to search for issues you wish to report before submitting them!

If you find that your issue has already been submitted, you can still do several things to help:

  • Leave a comment containing additional information or details
  • If it is a bug, add another way to reproduce the bug
  • Vote for the issue to express that you feel it is important.

The more information there is about a specific issue, the better chance it has for a quick resolution.

Guidelines

  • When describing the bug, try to omit Resident names or other personally identifying information. If the bug seems to affect only you, or very few people, you should consider contacting technical support via the Support Portal.
  • Provide detailed reproduction information when describing a bug. For example, instead of saying "I crash when I upload random things", the reproduction should be laid out in specific steps:
    Example:
    1. Click File > Upload Image ($L10)...
    2. Choose a .TXT file instead of a .JPG file
    3. Click the Open button
Try sending your writeup to a friend, to see if they can follow it! If your friend can follow the steps, chances are we can too!
  • Consider uploading snapshots, images, videos, crash logs, or any other related files (10MB limit each). In the above example, you might consider uploading the files you tried to upload that caused the crash.

Submitting a bug

To create a new bug in the Public Issue Tracker, do the following:

  1. Click the Create New Issue link in the blue navigation bar towards the top of the screen. (If you don't see this, make sure you are logged in to JIRA.)
  2. On the first page:
    • Select a Project that most closely matches the kind of bug you are submitting - see Projects and Components.
    • Select Bug as your Issue Type.
    • Click Next.
  3. On the last page:
    • The Basic tab of this page has the fields you'll need when submitting a bug:
      • Enter a concise but descriptive Summary (title) for the issue.
      • Select the Priority (severity) of the bug. For example, a Showstopper bug might render the program useless, but a Nice to have bug fix might be merely cosmetic. Click the icon next to the dropdown for more details.
      • Select Components that narrow the scope of the bug. You can select multiple components by Ctrl-clicking.
      • Choose the Affects Versions that the bug affects. You should only select those versions where you have observed the bug, and only select a "first look" version if the bug only applies to First Look.
      • Describe the Environment in which the problem occurs, if you have noticed that the bug only occurs with certain hardware or software configurations. One way to find such information is from the Help >About Second Life window on your viewer menu. If configuration doesn't seem to matter, you can leave it blank.
        • For example, "Only happens with Mac OS X 10.4.1," or "Seen only with NVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 card," etc.
      • Enter a detailed Description of the issue, and be sure to include:
        • Steps to reliably reproduce the bug (how to make the bug happen), or at least a description of what precedes the bug in detail. Try to make the steps as simple as possible while still being specific and reliable. Simpler reproductions make it easier to narrow down the causes.
        • Observed results (what happens when the bug occurs)
        • Expected results (what behavior you would have expected instead)
        • Anything else which you think might help, such as forum links or blog posts.
        • Again, be as detailed as possible without including personal information!
      • If you have a screenshot or video of the bug, or any other relevant file, you can attach it under Attachment. Note that there is a 10MB size limit per file. You can also attach additional files later.
    • The Advanced tab of this page has some more fields you can fill out if you're submitting a fix or want to add more detail.
      • The Linden Lab Issue ID should generally be left blank unless you are a Linden. If you want to reference a support ticket number, it should be entered in the description, not here.
      • If you are a programmer and are attaching a patch for the source code, enter the Source Version the patch is against and check the Patch Attached box.
  4. Finally, click Create to create the new issue.

Submitting a new feature

The process is similar to submitting a bug, with the following differences:

  • Select New Feature instead of Bug as your issue type.
  • Instead of a reproduction, clearly describe the desired implementation and functionality of the new feature. Make sure it hasn't already been done — you can refer to release notes for historical context and read our status page to learn more about what we're doing next.

Return to check on issue status

Linden Lab will review issues submitted to jira.secondlife.com on a regular basis. The engineering team may require additional information from the issue reporter, or other contributors, so reviewing all your created/commented issues regularly is useful while email support in JIRA is disabled.

When issues are resolved internally the external site will be updated as well, so check your issues for changes on a regular basis.

How to report a bug - Video Tutorial

Watch a video tutorial which demonstrates the steps above for creating a bug report in our Public Issue Tracker.