How To: Filing a bug report

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admin
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How To: Filing a bug report

We had a few tickets over the last few weeks that have been really hard to track down the causes of. In part they've just been weird issues, but some of it has been communication issues. These were issues where if the description had been clearer from the start I would have been able to track it down faster.

Since this isn't really a thing that people ever get taught, I wanted to go ahead and post up for everyone what sort of stuff I need in order to run down bugs. (It's not fair to not tell you guys how to help the people who are trying to help on the tech-support request after all!) This way you guys know exactly what'll help me get things going quicker.

For what it's worth, if you go out of your way to follow this sort of format for all tech requests you make with the help desk people in your life, you will make them so much happier to help you:

A good bug report looks like this:

-----

Short Description: Two sentence summary.

Browser: Name
Version: Version of browser
Computer / Interface: PC / Mac / iPad / iPhone / Other

Are you logged in when you do this? Yes / No

Steps to replicate:

0) Starting from URL: The URL to start from
1) Step one
2) Step two
3) Step three...
etc.

What you expected: Two sentences.
What you got: Two sentences.

Other patterns:
a) Does this seem to happen only during certain times of day? Morning / Midday / Evening
b) Only in certain locations? OOC / Sirian / Vaxia
c) Only on specific characters? Which ones?

-----

Those bullet point steps, that's a really important part. I can't overstate that really. If I can't replicate what's going on, I can't work on it. And for some reason I've not run into it by now, then it's not likely I'm going to stumble across it by accident here. So I really do need you to tell me how to make whatever you're seeing happen.

And it really does need to be step by step. Like you're walking a five year old or your grandmother through it over the phone and you can't see the screen. Assume I'm gonna click around like a blind monkey if you don't tell me exactly where to click and type. Aka: "Click here. Type this. Click here." Being vague here is just going to mean I fall back on my own habits and I won't be doing what you're doing - and probably won't see the bug.

Zxehenia
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Some tips from an avid alpha/beta tester

Just adding a bit more here

In the hopes of helping everyone get better at bug reporting for quick resolutions here are some tips I offer up that I have learned and picked up over the years of me being an Alpha and Beta tester for many video games.

When submitting bugs that you find to a dev you want to have as much information as possible, but also that information *needs( to be precise and concise. This can go a long way in determining if there is an issue on the dev's end, or it could be something on yours (especially if no one else is having the same issue.)

Document everything! And don't worry about proper sentences at times. The important thing is to be able to follow your steps and see if they get the bug to appear.

When you run into a bug, try and remember everything you did up until the discovery of the bug. Write it down in a list.

Example 1 (A very simple one):
You discover that when you follow a certain chain of links you get sent to unicornpalloza which is not where you wanted to go, as you clicked for something for pegasuspalloza.
Break down what you did into steps:

1) Clicked on wiki link (specify which one though if there is more then one!)
2) which link you clicked on next
3) the link you clicked on after that
4) the link which took you to unicornpalloza when you clicked on a link that should have went to pegasuspalloza

Example 2:
You just made a new character, and discovered something weird happens when you try to post with them.

Try and recall everything you did with that character starting at character creation. Break all of that down into a list.

Then remember what you was doing when the weird stuff started to happen. Break all of that into a list as well.

Remember the key is to describe everything you did to get the results you did as in much detail as possible in as few words as possible.
This can be tricky though, which is when screenshots (a picture of your screen) come in very very very handy. I am a huge fan of screen shotting every step I took to make sure I can show what I see on my end (and you never know if you miss a detail that you didn't think to include but may give your developer a clue!)


Taking Screen Shots:
Pictures can actually help a ton. As mentioned we never know if we may have left a detail out or we just don't know how to fully describe what we are seeing. Screenshots give us a way to show what we are seeing on our end.

Here is actually a handy website that demonstrates on how to take screenshots in many platforms:

http://www.take-a-screenshot.org/

Computer:

    Windows:
    Check and see if your keyboard has a print screen button (sometimes just Prt Scr). You should be able to just hit that button and the computer will take a snap shot of what is on your monitor. make sure that what you are trying to take a picture of is displayed!

    After you hit the print screen button open up a image editing program like Paint or whatever you use (I often make use of something call Irfan View for very basic cropping, viewing and editing needs can download here: http://www.irfanview.com/). When you have the program open just hit paste (ctrl+v) and a picture of what was on your monitor should appear.

    Just save that image and then uploaded it (storage spaces will be discussed later in this guide)

    Mac:
    The command for a screen shot is
    Command (the key with the square with loops) + Shift + 3
    The picture should be saved on your desktop.

    There are also apps/addons/extensions for several browsers that can be used to take screen shots as well
    (note any I link here I have not tried myself for the moment so I can not comment on how up to date they are or how they may work exactly.)

    http://awesomescreenshot.com/ (recommended by the screen shot website mentioned above)

    If this one doesn't work I recommend doing a search for: Screenshot extension for XXXXX; just replace XXXX with whatever browser you use.

iOS devices (iphone, ipad, etc):

Press and hold the home and the sleep/wake/power buttons at the same time (I found for my iphone I needed to hold them for a couple of seconds before releasing) - the screen should flash white. You can find the screen shot under your Photo app of your device.

Andriod devices:

Press and hold at the same time the power button and the volume down for a couple of seconds. The screen should flash white, and saves as a photo. (On my tablet I find my screen shots in the Gallery app, it even makes a screen shot album.)


Uploading a screenshot:

Now that you have a picture (or pictures) of what you see you need some place to upload them so you can link to them.

There are tons of websites out there that offer free photo hosting:

https://www.google.com/search?q=flickr&oq=flick&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j69i...

(this is a google search I did. If the link doesn't work for you, then type into your favorite search engine the following: Free image hosting and then hit search)

We also have the file storage here on the website:
http://vaxia.org/filedepot

To upload screenshots you took on your phone or tablet you can wait until you have access to your computer to save it to your computer hard drive and upload it somewhere.

However if you do not have access to a computer your device should have some way for you to be able to share pictures and give you a few options (like my phone gives me the option to text it to someone, mail it to someone, icloud, twitter, facebook, or flickr.) I am not really sure where to recommend to upload directly from the phone (I haven't done this method at all myself). flickr seems a good option though, and it might be possible to mail it - if our developer has a preferred address to be able to send it to.

Once you have your picture uploaded then link it in your report. Don't forget to include a brief description (IE I clicked on this link and it sent me to this page (then link to screenshot)



How to find other information:

As mention what kind of browser and its version can also be important. As not all browsers display information the same.

The kind of browser should be easy:
Chrome, Firefox, Avant Browser, Tor, Dolphin, Safari - etc it is just the name of the browser you click.

The version:
This one can be tricky depending on which one you use.
In general you can find this information either under settings or under help

For example Firefox's version can be found by clicking on Help

Then from the list that pops up select About Firefox
A little window should pop up and the number under Firefox (circled in red in the image) is your version.

For Chrome - to access settings I have to click on 3 red bars in my upper right corner.

When you click that a menu should open up.
From that menu select: About Google Chrome
That should open up a tab displaying information about your Google Chrome
Where it says version is your version of Chrome you have

For phones and tablets it might be a lil more tricky. I can't comment too much on how to find such information as I don't do it very often. But I will give examples on how to go about it on what phone and tablet I do have.

I know for my iphone I can:
Go to the App Store
Go to Updates
Click on Purchased (mine appears at the very top)
and then I have a list of all the apps on my phone.
I look for my browser apps and there should be the format of:

    Browser name
    Who made it
    Version

On my tablet (which is a Asus Google Nexus 7, with an Andriod OS)
I can open up my browser: which is google chrome
click on the 3 dots in the upper right hand corner
hit settings
the go and hit About Chrome
And that gives me all the information on what version of chrome, version of android os, version of Blink, and version of JavaScript I have on my tablet.


Some other things to also consider:

Our admin has posted a nice list of things they need in order to try and replicate the bug.

But here are some other things that you may want to try before making a report, especially if it gets you different results (and you never know if it may come in handy)
Try other browsers - do you get the same results or something different? (be sure to include this in your information too!)
Check your version of Java (go here to find out how! https://www.java.com/en/download/help/version_manual.xml)
Clear your browser cache (sometimes things just get stuck)