Today: some friendly advice for filing a good Blender bug report!
- Submit the bug to the Blender bug tracker. I know it’s not the greatest bug tracker in the world (and has a bad habit of showing blank screens and errors), but it’s still better than posting on BA.org where it might never be seen by a developer (or having been seen, might be forgotten.)
- Attach a file! It says this in big letters when you click the submit button, but people ignore it all the time. If the bug exists even on the default scene, check that it’s really the default by clicking Load Factory Settings in the File menu.
- Make that file as minimal and easy to test as possible. Delete unnecessary objects, scenes, and screen areas. For example, if your bug report says to reproduce by adding a wave modifier to an object, save the file with that object selected and the modifier properties panel showing.
- Give the file a good specific name. Examples of bad names: “test.blend”, “error.blend”, “flower.blend”. Better to give a short description of the error, and maybe even prefix it with your username to make it unique: “nicholasbishop-sculpt-grab-explosion.blend”.
- Give steps to reproduce the bug in that file. If possible, also give steps to reproduce from the default scene. If you are unable to reproduce it from the default scene, say why.
- Always say which version you tested with. Be specific (e.g. “2.63a” rather than “latest release”). If you’re testing something newer than the latest release, indicate the SVN revision. Say where the build came from; graphicall.org (give link!), official release, build bot, compiled yourself, etc.
- Test something recent. It’s fine if you are staying with 2.62 for production work, but if you find a bug check that it’s in 2.63a too.
- Give your operating system (plus 32-bit/64-bit) and other relevant system info like graphics card and drivers. If you’re not sure what’s relevant, it never hurts to attach the system info file that Blender can generate from the Help menu.
- One bug per report! If you find more than one bug, even if it’s related to the same tool, file multiple bug reports.
- No feature requests in the bug tracker. Often these sneak in as part of a real bug report, but these requests should go to BA.org or an email to the module owner.
- Write as clearly as possible. I know many users are not native English speakers, but it helps to use punctuation and keep your descriptions as concise as possible. For those that are native English speakers, no excuses for not paying attention to the red squiggly beneath misspelled words! ;)
It may sound annoying to follow all these steps, but remember that if you don’t, the developers waste time figuring it all out themselves or trying to coax the information out of the user for each bug. Some developers like Sergey, Campbell, and Brecht handle a huge number of bug reports; you can really help them out by filing good ones.