Submit bug reports!

I would periodically run into a developer associate of mine and ask him how things are going. Invariably he would complain about a bug in an open source UML modelling tool whereby he could not cut and paste large diagrams. This went on for over a year. On one such encounter I asked him in jest “Did you file a bug report for it?”. I had assumed that someone that would complain and have to work around a problem for over a year would have certainly filed a bug. To my horror his response was “No” — and not just a normal “No” but one that dripped with “Why should I be the one that has to do it? Don’t they know what’s wrong with their own product?!?” I finally managed to convinced him that he should file the bug. The next time I saw him (about 2 weeks later) he was elated! They had fixed the bug and he was able to finally work at a reasonable pace.

The moral to this story is that it is the responsibility of every user of a project to file concise and reporducable bug reports. Developers of a project do not always encounter the cases that a user may encounter — you may be the only one that has a particular use case. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that “someone else will do it” or “the developers must have this problem and are just ignoring it”.

File a bug today!

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