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Writing good bug reports

Recently we had an internal discussion about the number of bugs in our bug database, and how to handle new bug reports coming in. Currently, our inflow rate of bugs is higher than our closing rate, and while this is normal for a healthy project of Qt's size, there is always room for improvement to make the bug fixing process better.

One area where we realized there was a need was in defining the process for writing good bug reports. People expect different things from bug reports, and the results are not always what is needed by the Qt developers when trying to fix the bugs. Therefore it would be good to formalize this concept a bit more, so that the reporters and the developers start out with the same expectations.

Inspired by this, I took the time to write a guide to reporting bugs in Qt. Parts of it are copied inspired by Jesper's excellent blogpost about bug reporting in March, but I also added some tips on specific methods for dealing with difficult bugs.

The guide can be found here: http://qt.gitorious.org/qt/pages/ReportingBugsInQt

Finally, this is not a complete and finished version of the guide. Like Qt itself, it will evolve. If you have suggestions for how to improve it, please feel free to post it in the comments.

Also, I would welcome suggestions on how we can make sure that new people know about this guide. One obvious first step is to add it to the bug database front page.


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