Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to create a MySQL bug report that someone would like to read and comment on

It happens to me almost every day. I note some "bug report" at http://bugs.mysql.com that makes me think that my job is miserable... Like this, Bug #66580. What readers of such a bug report are supposed to do with it? Other than ignore?

Today I want to stay positive, so instead of cursing in public let me give some advices inspired by this great HOWTO and detailed instructions from MySQL site.

Before you send a problem report to MySQL public bugs database, please:

  • Try to find similar bugs by searching MySQL bugs database. Google search for site:bugs.mysql.com <something specific, like stack trace or message from the error log> usually works good enough
  • Try to find a solution to similar problem by searching the Web
  • Try to find a solution/reason by reading the manual (you may get links to the manual while searching the Web...)
  • Try to find a solution by reading other online documentation, forums and blogs
  • Try to find a reason for your problem by inspection or experimentation
  • Try to find a reason for your problem by asking a skilled friend (#mysql channel at irc.freenode.net could be a nice place to find some friends of this kind)
  • If you're a programmer, try to find a reason by reading or tracing the source code, inspecting core files created etc
Only if, after all these steps, you are still not able to solve your problem and still sure that the reason is the bug in MySQL, it starts to make some sense to create a new bug report.

When you send a problem report to MySQL bugs database, please:
  • Provide meaningful, specific subject/summary and description. Describe the symptoms of your problem or bug carefully and clearly
  • Write in clear, grammatical, correctly-spelled English language
  • Be precise and informative about your problem:
  1. Describe the environment in which it occurs (MySQL software version, hardware, OS, application, whatever). Provide configuration file content and attach the entire MySQL error log (compressed if it is large).
  2. Describe the research you did to try and understand the problem before you reported it
  3. Describe the diagnostic steps you took to try and pin down the problem yourself before you reported it
  4. Describe any possibly relevant recent changes in your hardware or software configuration
  5. State explicitly what exactly you consider a bug in this case, and why
  6. Ideally, you should provide a complete test case and/or instructions that any reader can use to reproduce your problem
  • Make sure the problem is repeatable with latest officially released version of MySQL software you use
  • Finally, do not report the same problem or bug more than once (unless you had found a regression bug in a recent version that was already reported before and closed). Better add your comments to existing bug report (that will be re-opened automatically in this case)
Please, remember that while it is (theoretically) possible to get free support at MySQL bugs database (and sometimes it may be even fast and good), it is neither proper nor best place to ask for it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's all about bugs...

I've spent more than 7 years processing bug reports at bugs.mysql.com. That was the only public place where I've discussed MySQL. Soon this will be the other.