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Debug It! by Paul Butcher

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Controlling Inputs

Your software’s inputs may be files on disc, sequences of user interface operations, or responses from third-party servers or hardware. Whatever form they take, the key is to first identify them so that you can then replay them exactly.

If you’re lucky, the relevant inputs will be specified in the bug report, but this isn’t always the case. It may be obvious to you that a bug report needs to enumerate every step involved, but your customers are unlikely to realize the importance of doing so. Or they may allow their preconceptions about how the software works (which may bear very little resemblance to what really goes on under the hood) to color their description.

Even if the user has conscientiously reported everything ...

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