Example Instructions for Reporting Bugs
This is a lightly-edited copy of the Subversion project's online
instructions to new users on how to report bugs. See
for why it is
important that a project have such instructions. The original
document is located at
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:
* 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
* 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
* 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
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.