The aim of a bug report is to enable us (the
programmers) to see the program failing in front of us as it
does in front of you. Therefore you should give careful and
detailed instructions on how to make it fail. If we can make
it fail, we will try to gather extra information until we know
the cause. If we can't make it fail, we will have to ask you
to gather that information for us.
Please avoid reports that say nothing,
like "It doesn't
work!", reports that make no sense to you, reports that
don't give any information at all, reports that give speculative
information. Be aware that a problem can come from your operating
system, somebody else's program, or a network failure. Try
to make very clear what are actual facts ("I was at the
computer and this happened") and what are speculations
think the problem might be this"). Leave out speculations
if you want to, but don't leave out facts. Describe what happened.
Tell us exactly what you saw. Tell us why you think what you
saw is wrong; better still, tell us exactly what you expected
When you report a bug, you are doing so because you want the
bug fixed. There is no point in swearing at the programmer
or being deliberately unhelpful. It may be our fault and your
problem. You might be right to be angry with us, but the
bug will get fixed faster if you help us by supplying all the
information we need.
Please give us some credit for basic intelligence. If the
program really didn't work at all, we would probably have noticed.
Since we haven't noticed, it must be working for us. Therefore,
either you are doing something differently from us, or your
environment is different from ours. We need information. Providing
this information is the purpose of a bug report. More information
is almost always better than less.
If you are not reporting a bug but just
asking for help using the program, you should state where
you have already looked for the answer to your question.
("I looked in the built-in
Help menu, but couldn't find anything that told me if this
This will let us know where people will expect to find the
answer, so they can make the documentation easier to use.