How to report bugs in Helena

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How to report bugs in Helena

Post by emorrp1 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:01 pm

In order for this forum to maintain its usefulness in speed of resolution, I think a few guidelines are needed (note that these are basically more strict versions of general forum etiquette): Generally speaking, this will just be an informal gateway to launchpad, as the Ubuntu bug reporting method is too tortuous.

Make sure it's a bug
This means searching the forums thoroughly and as the search box is next to useless, I recommend the Mint forum google search courtesy of altair. You should also be able to reproduce it on a clean system (e.g. Virtual machine/liveCD) to be sure it's not your configuration issue. If you don't have the technical no-how to identify the problem precisely, or even if you're just uncertain, post the problem in the support forum (preferably not the newbies section) so we can bash out the problem with you to get a more accurate understanding, enough to post a bug for. There's also a fine line between some feature suggestions and a bug, so be careful to check the suggestions forum too. Make sure someone hasn't reported the bug already! I know this is a common problem in the main forum, but it's especially important here, where multiple bug reports are just not helpful, and will delay the resolution, rather than speed it up. You should also check if it's been reported in ubuntu by searching launchpad:

Research thoroughly
Once you have found a bug, and confirmed it on a clean system, see if you can identify any similar areas where it might also happen, or a specific way it doesn't happen.
p.s. Reading the source code can help with this, which you can get by enabling the source repo in synaptic, and e.g. apt-get source nautilus-share. This can also help you decide whether it should just be a feature suggestion: If the code assumes certain behaviour contrary to your bug, then it's a bug; If the code is just missing something important, it's probably just a feature suggestion.

Topic titles
Include both package name *and version* (preferably at the beginning), note that this won't leave much space for the problem description, so be precise.
When the bug has been fixed, prepend the topic title with something like [FIXED v5.0.3], making sure to include the version number.
If for any reason the bug is explained away, prepend the topic title with something like [INVALID]

Detail the problem
Please provide as much info as possible, which you'll hopefully have gathered in the "Research" phase. A seemingly unimportant bit of related information may actually be the cause of the problem, so if in doubt include. An absolute minimum is the precise steps needed to reproduce the problem. If we can't find it, you haven't provided enough information and it'll slow down the resolution. Again, if you can't manage this, try posting in the support forums first.

Provide a solution
Obviously not always possible, but if you find a workaround, tell us, and if you find a solution, tell us. Preferably solutions should detail the necessary changes to the source code, since that should enable almost immediate response.

Hopefully this will be enough to make it easier for us to request these bugs be fixed, but if anyone has any suggestions to improve the process, please post them below. Basically the idea is to make the bug reports useful to developers, without making the reporting process difficult for even intermediate users (e.g. ubuntu-bug/apport), with someone who's familiar with launchpad being a liason. Since problems could often be reported all over the support forums, this bugs forum should become a one-stop entry for helpful launchpad users to check out, so feel free to link to an original support topic if you're converting it into a bug. Please bear in mind that since these bugs aren't in mintTools, they may well take longer to solve, so keep checking back on it, seeing if more info has been requested. As an example of an excellent bug report (before this how-to was even written), see
If you have a question that has been answered and solved, then please edit your original post and put a [SOLVED] at the end of your subject header
Hint - use a google search including the search term

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