How to report bugs - good bug reports allow quick bug fixes

Started by Mario, May 29, 2013, 09:35:22 AM

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I can find and fix bugs and problems more quickly when I can reproduce them here in my office. It helps if you provide as much information as possible about the bug you have found. Use this list as a guide:
  • A copy of the log file taken right after IMatch crashed or using the Copy Application Log File command in the Help menu.  See the Beta Tester Guide in the IMatch help for details.
  • A detailed description of the steps required to reproduce the problem. Be precise and as detailed as possible. More info is usually better. Give me step-by-step instructions of what you did. When I can reproduce the problem, I can fix it quickly.
  • Did the problem happen only once or can you reproduce the bug at will?
  • If IMatch did show an error message, the text of that message. Tip: You can use Ctrl+C to copy the message into the Windows clipboard and from there to the forum editor. If this does not work, make a screen shot of the message box (Alt+PrintScreen), save it as a JPEG file and attach it to your report.
  • One or more screen shots.  Always use Alt+PrintSreen to make a screen shot of the active window. This is much better than creating large screen shots of your entire desktop. Attach the screen shot in JPEG format to your bug report.
  • If the problem always happens with a specific file, I will need a copy of that file (image, document). You can upload the samples to your cloud space (DropBox, Onedrive, GoogleDrive, ...) and send a link to support email address
  • If the problem is related to ExifTool (reading or writing metadata), the contents of the ExifTool output panel will be very helpful.
  • Anything else you consider useful for me to understand and reproduce the problem on one of my PC's.
Finding and fixing problems in IMatch is very important. If you run into a problem, help me by sending me the info I need to reproduce, find and fix the problem.

How to produce a DUMP file when IMatch hangs

When IMatch stops responding, please wait a while, especially when you have triggered a computing-intensive operation like metadata write-back or data-driven category updates. If IMatch is still not responding after a minute or so, it may be stuck somewhere. To analysis this, please copy the log file and attach it ZIPped to a bug report.

A DUMP file will be very helpful because it shows me what IMatch is doing and hopefully also why it stopped responding.

To produce a DUMP file, please follow these instructions.

Debug Logging

You can switch IMatch to debug logging under Help > Support > Debug Logging. This produces much more information in the log file and this may be very helpful when analyzing problems.

Bugs related to Metadata

For bugs related to reading or writing metadata, please do this:

  • Under Edit > Preferences > Application, make sure that the Verbose Mode for ExifTool is enabked
  • Open the ExifTool output panel via <F9>,<O>
  • Perform the operation which causes the problem while reading or writing metadata
  • Copy the contents of the output panel to your bug report

ExifTool Command Processor

If you have problems reading or writing metadata, select a file with that problem in a File Window and then run the ExifTool Command Processor from the Tools menu.
Use the "List Metadata" preset and save the results to a text file: Select the output text in the right panel with Ctrl+A, then run Windows Notepad and paste the results. Then save in Notepad and attach that file to your community post. This helps massively with diagnosing problems.

Providing Sample Files

Usually a sample file which allows me to reproduce the specific problem is very helpful, e.g. when IMatch fails to read the metadata from a file, the results are not as expected or IMatch fails to write data to a file.

If the file is too large to attach to your bug report, please upload it to your cloud space (DropBox, OneDrive GoogleDrive, ...) and include a link to the file in your bug report post here.

A funny and competent treatment on How to Report Bugs Effectively.
-- Mario
IMatch Developer
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