Looking at a bug report today, I saw some pretty poor “bugside manners” on the part of a few people (including the upstream developer). There’s tons of examples out there of good bug report interactions and poor ones. I’d like to urge everyone to take a minute and think before posting that next bug comment.

Good bugside:

  • Ask for facts. Program output, versions, exact behaviors
  • Provide info if asked for it by others
  • Try and see the issue from the reporters view
  • If you find yourself unable to say something nice or move the bug along, perhaps you should refrain from saying anything at all

Bad bugside:

  • Don’t pile on unrelated bugs. Open a new bug for a new issue.
  • Avoid talking about “big picture”/design/philosophy. Those should go to mailing lists or the like, bug trackers are to track and fix bugs
  • If you don’t have things to add about the specific bug at hand, don’t post

I’m sure there’s other good/bad rules. Anyone run accross any other common good or bad bugside manners they want to share?