Monday, 7 May 2012

When you encounter a bug, always file a bug

If you find a bug in Firefox, or any other software for that matter, please please please file a bug! It's completely possible that the developers simply aren't aware of the bug.

The developers may not be aware of the bug because they don't run on the same hardware, operating system, or environment as you, or they may not use the browser the same way as you do.

Even if we already have the bug on file and we mark your bug as a duplicate, at the very least this is allows us to get a coarse feel for how often the bug is encountered in the wild.

If the developers aren't aware of a bug, there's no way they can fix it! Please file bugs!


Alereon said...

I don't think you actually want this. If you encourage people to file a bug report every time they run into something they think is a bug, what you end up with is so many invalid and otherwise less than helpful bug reports that good or important bugs are needles in the haystack. The reality is that filing a bug correctly is hard, as is figuring out if your bug has already been reported (or is even a bug).

I understand that it's frustrating when problems linger because nobody reported them or people suffer in silence, but "more bug reports" isn't the solution to that problem, any more than more surveillance is a solution to crime. Lowering the barrier to entry to bug reporting and working to increase bug quality (perhaps by routing informal bug reports through user support infrastructure) seems like it would do more to get the results you actually want.

Chris Pearce said...

"Important" bugs are already needles in the haystack.

It seems to me the easiest way to see if a bug is a dupe is to file the bug, and let the watchers of that component dupe it for you; I serve this purpose in the components I watch and maintain.

There may be better ways to handle bugs, but I don't think discouraging people from filing bugs is it.