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Making Software by Greg Wilson, Andy Oram

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Good and Bad Bug Reports

When some users of a software system encounter a bug, they report it to developers with the hope that the bug will be fixed. The information in a bug report gives the developers a detailed description of the failure and occasionally hints at the cause.

But the quality and level of detail of information can vary a lot from one bug report to another. Take for example the following bug report (#31021) from the Eclipse project:

I20030205 Run the following example. Double click on a tree item and notice that it does not expand. Comment out the Selection listener and now double click on any tree item and notice that it expands. public static void main(String[] args){ Display display = new Display(); Shell shell = new Shell(display); [. . . ] (21 lines of code removed) display.dispose(); }

The reporter provides a code example and concise steps on how to run it in order to reproduce the bug. Once a developer can reproduce and observe the bug, it is likely to make the process of investigating the cause of the bug comparatively easier.

On the other hand, the following bug report (#175222), again from the Eclipse project, is not in fact a bug at all and has been misfiled as one:

I wand to create a new plugin in Eclipse using CDT. Shall it possible. I had made a RD in eclipse documentation. I had get an idea about create a plugin using Java. But i wand to create a new plugin ( user defined plugin ) using CDT. After that I wand to impliment it in my programe. If it possible?. Any one can help me please... ...

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