This is a lightly-edited copy of the Subversion project's online instructions to new users on how to report bugs. See the section called “Treat Every User as a Potential Volunteer” in Chapter 8, Managing Volunteers for why it is important that a project have such instructions. The original document is located at http://svn.collab.net/repos/svn/trunk/www/bugs.html.
Reporting Bugs in Subversion This document tells how and where to report bugs. (It is not a list of all outstanding bugs — you can get that here instead.) Where To Report A Bug --------------------- * If the bug is in Subversion itself, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once it's confirmed as a bug, someone, possibly you, can enter it into the issue tracker. (Or if you're pretty sure about the bug, go ahead and post directly to our development list, email@example.com. But if you're not sure, it's better to post to users@ first; someone there can tell you whether the behavior you encountered is expected or not.) * If the bug is in the APR library, please report it to both of these mailing lists: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. * If the bug is in the Neon HTTP library, please report it to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. * If the bug is in Apache HTTPD 2.0, please report it to both of these mailing lists: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. The Apache httpd developer mailing list is high-traffic, so your bug report post has the possibility to be overlooked. You may also file a bug report at http://httpd.apache.org/bug_report.html. * If the bug is in your rug, please give it a hug and keep it snug. How To Report A Bug ------------------- First, make sure it's a bug. If Subversion does not behave the way you expect, look in the documentation and mailing list archives for evidence that it should behave the way you expect. Of course, if it's a common-sense thing, like Subversion just destroyed your data and caused smoke to pour out of your monitor, then you can trust your judgement. But if you're not sure, go ahead and ask on the users mailing list first, firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask in IRC, irc.freenode.net, channel #svn. Once you've established that it's a bug, the most important thing you can do is come up with a simple description and reproduction recipe. For example, if the bug, as you initially found it, involves five files over ten commits, try to make it happen with just one file and one commit. The simpler the reproduction recipe, the more likely a developer is to successfully reproduce the bug and fix it. When you write up the reproduction recipe, don't just write a prose description of what you did to make the bug happen. Instead, give a literal transcript of the exact series of commands you ran, and their output. Use cut-and-paste to do this. If there are files involved, be sure to include the names of the files, and even their content if you think it might be relevant. The very best thing is to package your reproduction recipe as a script, that helps us a lot. Quick sanity check: you *are* running the most recent version of Subversion, right? :-) Possibly the bug has already been fixed; you should test your reproduction recipe against the most recent Subversion development tree. In addition to the reproduction recipe, we'll also need a complete description of the environment in which you reproduced the bug. That means: * Your operating system * The release and/or revision of Subversion * The compiler and configuration options you built Subversion with * Any private modifications you made to your Subversion * The version of Berkeley DB you're running Subversion with, if any * Anything else that could possibly be relevant. Err on the side of too much information, rather than too little. Once you have all this, you're ready to write the report. Start out with a clear description of what the bug is. That is, say how you expected Subversion to behave, and contrast that with how it actually behaved. While the bug may seem obvious to you, it may not be so obvious to someone else, so it's best to avoid a guessing game. Follow that with the environment description, and the reproduction recipe. If you also want to include speculation as to the cause, and even a patch to fix the bug, that's great — see http://subversion.apache.org/docs/community-guide/#patches for instructions on sending patches. Post all of this information to email@example.com, or if you have already been there and been asked to file an issue, then go to the Issue Tracker and follow the instructions there. Thanks. We know it's a lot of work to file an effective bug report, but a good report can save hours of a developer's time, and make the bug much more likely to get fixed.