Tip of the Week #18: How to report a bug

You’ve asked for it, and it’s here! Even if you haven’t asked for it, you may very well benefit from itwhat is it?

A sparkly new video tutorial, “How to report a bug”! I know some of you fear the Issue Tracker (AKA Public JIRA) and think it’s hard to file an issue — but rather than tell, in this vidtut, I show you why it matters and precisely how easy it is:

Getvidtut.pngDOWNLOAD HIGH-QUALITY VERSION

No doubt followup will… follow. Give me your ideas for future vidtuts, and to paraphrase Dune, the spice of knowledge must flow!

Torley Linden https://i2.wp.com/torley-linden.s3.amazonaws.com/little-watermelon-eye.png
     Thanx to your interest, Second Life video tutorials are #4 on Google!

About Torley

Who am I? See http://torley.com/
This entry was posted in Community, Creativity & Ideas, Resident Experience, Tips & Tricks. Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Tip of the Week #18: How to report a bug

  1. Redmoonblade says:

    Yey for the number one way for people to complain and get content destroyed.

  2. Pingback: Aren’t Bugs Wonderful? | Second Life Sucks

  3. Joker Opus says:

    What ever happened to the vote system? It seems asthough it has been ignored – in order to suggest something, you do it via a bug-reporting system.
    Nice tips though 🙂

  4. Ryanna Enfield says:

    I’m sorry, you can make as many nice little help tips as you want… But Jira, is not, and never will be user friendly. Having very little experience with computers and programs, I am completely uncomfortable even navigating my way around Jira. By the time I get over the fact that I’ve just been disconnected from SL five times in a row while trying to TP, I’ve no patience to sit there and try to figure out how to report all that just happened. Since Jira was implemented, I’ve had nearly 20 or more bugs (most of the time they are repeats of the same issue) I could have reported… I’ve reported a total of 3. Because it is such a pain to use, I have made it a point not to file bug reports anymore. Makes me wonder if that was the goal, to decrease the amount of reported issues instead of actually fixing the issues, by making it difficult at best to use your bug report system. I almost prefer the In-World bug report system you used to have in place over Jira. I know it was completely inefficient and nothing got handled, but at least I could say I was able to inform you there was an actual issue. Yes this is a rather harsh post, but then again, it is far easier to post a comment than navigate through JIRA IMHO.

  5. Tesla Miles says:

    Great and informative tutorial Torley, I loved the background music.

    The main problem I have is that JIRA won’t let me log in!! I don’t know if anyone else is having the same problem, but I’m getting the message, ‘The credentials you provided cannot be determined to be authentic.’ – and yes I have check the Caps Lock, and yes I am using the same username and password that allows me to log into my web account.

    So if I can’t log an issue with JIRA about not being able to log into the Windlight client, what am I supposed to do?

    Help!

  6. Robot Foxley says:

    I always enjoy watching your tutorials Torley! Thank you, I always find out interesting things from watching them. I knew how to do a JIRA report, and it is good that the community will better understand it now. By the way, nice system specs you have there! w00t I’m glad you have music in the background, but next time please put some dance music; that piano music reminded me of Mr. Rogers and almost put me to sleep. lol Keep making tutorials! they are fun!

  7. Lao-Tzu says:

    SL strives to be “Web2.0” , yet the JIRA page is so 1989. LL, allow residents to report bugs under the SUPPORT tab of the main SL website. The JIRA system provides way too much information for the end-user. We want to report a bug and move on. The JIRA system is useful for LL, granted, but it is NOT useful for residents.
    Example: Say I wanted to report a problem at Wal-Mart. I would fill out a customer service card and get on with my life. If Wal-Mart used a system similar to JIRA, I would have to walk through the double doors at the back of every Wal-Mart, walk through a dark warehouse area, locate the proper office, sign in, find the proper filing cabinet, sort through all the other customer complaints to see if what I am submitting is “new” or “old”… I think you get my drift……

  8. Ann Otoole says:

    #1: a defect does not require any votes to be addressed. a properly entered and documented defect is likely to be fixed quickly even if there are no votes.

    #2: if someone that is not a Linden closes your feature suggestion or defect and you do not agree with the reason then you can reopen it. as many times as necessary.

    #3: even if a million people vote for a feature there is no guarantee it will be implemented. however, no idea is bad (well maybe sometimes) so enter them.

    #4: jira is not so easy until you get used to it. your using secondlife aren’t you? this means you are able to adapt. why are you complaining about jira?

    #5: it pays to set the priority low at first. you may be surprised to find others raising the priority. but setting the priority too high is not such a good idea. and it pays to become familiar with resolution types and priorities so read up on that.

    and lastly, it feels good to report a defect and see it get fixed quickly. try it sometime.

    🙂

  9. Blinders Off says:

    To newbies:

    Be sure to study this “How to report a Bug” video carefully. Watch it over and over. Because you’re going to be using this function a LOT!!!

    😀

  10. Blinders Off says:

    @ Lao-Tzu: right on the button. The JIRA is so bogged down and cumbersome it’s unbelievable. IMO, just another aspect of the age-old LL rule of thumb: never do something simply and logically when it can be bungled up and complicated. 😀

  11. Sean Heying says:

    Anne says “and lastly, it feels good to report a defect and see it get fixed quickly. try it sometime.”

    So true, I’ve had a couple of mine fixed and you actually see them mentioned on this very blog as a reward.

    It’s not that hard to submit a new bug report or feature suggestion, a few minutes. On the other hand not reporting it means that you will see it again and again and again, never fixed.

  12. AnnMarie Otoole says:

    I checked the “About” feature for collecting hardware information. My computer has two screens and two video boards, one FX5500 and one FX8???. The About fetches only the FX5500 which is not the one that the SL graphics run on. Now that I know, I will correct this but you may get erroneous reports from the uninitiated.

  13. Gary Kohime says:

    The other day I wanted to report my first bug. What I found was a very sophisticated Search engine for existing bugs. When I selected “New”, and the logic seemed right, it just took me to a “New” Search. Now, even though I have over 20 yrs. experience in tech., I am not about to imply that I’m an expert. That being said, and with the greatest humility, I was embarrassed that I couldn’t figure it out. So, I gave up, both times, and moved on.

    I’ve used many..many support ticketing systems, some help desk related, and many Network Operations related, such as HP Service Center, Remedy, CA’s ticketing system and on and on. To be honest, and I’m not meaning to be condescending or negative, I am just sharing my perception in hopes the feedback will be taken into serious consideration. My immediate perception, on JIRA, was this looks like a DEBUG form that’s used by software testers. It’s the most unfriendly application I have ever seen. The degree of good GUI intuitive design is nil at best. None of the commonly used and proven GUI standards are existent in JIRA.

    Furthermore, and I do appreciate, no, I LOVE SL. I also believe that it will and is Web 3.0 (For those that don’t realize it, Blogging is Web 2.0) 🙂

    Anyway, the importance of reporting accuracy is as important as the recipients (Support, development and volunteer staff) understanding of what’s being reported. Sometimes a support person has to go thru several repetitive, yet re-worded questions, to get to the root of the problem being reported. Example, a lot of commonly reported statements might be like this “My email doesn’t work”. Obviously, if you’re on the phone with the customer it’s much easier to get to the bottom of the actual problem. JIRA is like trying to explain a highly technical problem, in a very technical environment, using an extremely technical reporting system.

    You also have what I might call ALPHA test environments (you call them BETA). Then you have the Pre-Release one (BETA to me). Then you have Windlight, which is nearly a FULL blown new version.

    My suggestion is, that you bite the bullet on support costs, expand your phone support, develop fundamental steps in isolating the most likely the cause of the problem. Have support fill out the bug reports or other dedicated Beta testing volunteers. Open Beta to the world, throw in example builds, from the live version, that encourage interaction. Not mostly bare sim(s) that are merely sand boxes. Where possible, see if you can SEE the problem, in-world, and can you reproduce it?

    I agree that the goal might be your trying as fast as you can to get thru all the ‘issues’, and fixes, and move on with further development/enhancements of a metaverse (SL). As it stands, in my opinion, JIRA is doing more to slow that down then anything else.

    Anyway, I don’t want to come off as ranting. Btw..did I say I really LOVE SL? I do!! Thanks go to those creating it, to ALL of you out here and in there. 🙂

  14. SVC-930 says:

    If you want a REALLY good example of how well this bug fixing system works, have a look at http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-930 . This bug is a good demonstration of LL’s priorities.

    It is all very well reporting bugs, but really what is the point when even *showstopper* bugs that effect *all* content creators (and those of you who use scripted vendors, and think you are safe from it; hope you don’t pick up a box for sale when you select more than one thing ;-).
    Over 2 months broken on the main grid, heading towards 1/4 Year, that objects set for sale are stuffed up.

  15. Tulip Farella says:

    Well, i read the comments and then watched the video, then reported my bug.
    I found it straight forward and simple.
    I don’t understand comments above,saying its very hard to use.
    It isn’t. And I’m not a technical person.
    I’m not criticizing people comments either.

  16. Arthur says:

    Is Torley a fruit?
    I have nothing against pillow biters, but homosexuals tend to find even the most irritating things just “wonderful!”
    I’m actually surprised this he-she has time to post these videos since in game I imagine them being tied down by a furrie and getting sodomized with one of those scripted weiners that give a facial after the guys busts his loaf.

  17. Ponk Bing says:

    You appear to have intimate knowledge of this act, Arthur.

  18. Ponk Bing says:

    Nearly forgot what I was going to say! The video has been removed from youtube.

  19. Dekka Raymaker says:

    @ 7 Lao-Tzu, I must say I agree with you, and it’s kind of illustrated by this video that it’s particularly user friendly by the fact it’s over 15 minutes long, whereas Torley can teach us an element of 3d design usually in 5 minutes 🙂

    However, JIRA is what we have and this is a good introduction on how to use it, I had to work this out myself with my first bug and it took me half a day, now this will help new people file their first bug must quicker.

    I agree with another poster, you really should have covered ‘voting’ for an issue.

    And I totally agree with you Torley “Crash Is Crap” 🙂

  20. Dekka Raymaker says:

    Sorry typo… damn sorry Torley it should read *not* particularly user friendly

  21. Brenda Maculate says:

    Torley, this is probably the best 15 minutes I’ve spent in a while! Thanks for taking the time to show us that there is nothing to be afraid of in submitting a bug report.

    (Now, maybe all these people that are complaining about how “bad” SL is will put as much energy into helping to make it better as they do in complaining about it? :D)

  22. Mykell Ackland says:

    Reporting a bug is one thing. Having somebody actually bother to fix it is another. What’s it been…. five years? and STILL the most basic of game mechanics are screwing up constantly. Is it really that hard to add a line of code that checks a connection before a teleport is established? I’m getting so hacked off with the *constant* crashes every time I try to TP out of my home sim… And then be frozen when I log back in, prompting ANOTHER log in! It’s no wonder there’s so much lag when people are continually having to do this! Also, when is the ‘Attachments suddenly reposition to the middle of the avatar’ bug going to get sorted! I’ve been suffering from that ever since I started playing.

  23. Redmoonblade says:

    At 16: Dunno, but i’d say he’s more insane. As proven on the jira page that is gonna destroy all the radar avoid vehicles. Perhaps this is what got him to create this video.

  24. Alyx Sands says:

    #15, Tulip: Finally someone says it.
    I never had any problems with JIRA either, and I worked it out myself…

    #16, “Arthur”: You might find some creative use for those left over fireworks from New Year and stuff some of those where the sun don’t shine and ignite them. In YOUR pants. Thank you.

  25. Arth Karas says:

    I LIKED IT! I WATED IT! I NEEDED IT!

    What timing, and spot on data, too.

    I’ve been bug reporting since day one in SL, and have been VERY happy with Linden response to my isses. I’ve already filed a few bugs on JIRA, but I still was a bit intimidated by JIRA’s interface. I’d JUST posted I wanted to learn Jira better.

    Torley, you pointed me in the direction I wanted to go. THANK YOU!

    Yours, Arth 0 {:-{D}

  26. Well, in this new era of actually listening to customers, if you have any oldies left and not already driven them away that is, maybe we will get things addressed. The search on JIRA is absolutely appalling. Many times I’ve searched, it’s come up with nothing, I enter an new bug, only to find a few days later a myriad of of “covered by this issue”. I domn’t like the fact that these things get merged, closed and forgotten by non-Lindens, sometimes erroneously. I had a bork from the 1.15 update that on relogging after, had set 7 out of ten attachments, most HUDs but also prim shoes, to zero UUIDs, so unrezzable, unusuable and unwearable, and after going to triage, huffing and puffing, putting them in a folder with the ref number for a Linden to drop by, which they never did, eventually got merged with the script not found in database error message issue!

    Still having a beta bug tracker for 5 year old alpha software is pretty apt I suppose…

  27. Pepper Haas says:

    I have reported many bugs, others have reported those same bugs, little gets done about them. As I have pointed out to lindens before, they are the only company whose customers need to track and vote on their bugs to get them fixed — maybe.

  28. Nanci Barthelmess says:

    Excellent video, although as someone who frequently tests beta software I noticed that a critical step in reporting a bug is buried as a visual only message late in the presentations. Before you even start filing a bug you should check to see if it’s been filed already. Just about every other software I test forces you to check to see if a bug is already filed before allowing you to file a new one, and it’s not to be mean. It’s to help the devs save time from having to look at several duplications of the same bug and mark them as dupes. Hopefully when JIRA gets it’s next upgrade this behavior will be included.

    And Torley? You made my roomie laugh when you said it was finally time to click the button and “create your first bug.” Their response? “You want us to break SL even more? lol” I have to agree, it would have been better to say you were ready to file your first bug or create your first bug report. But thanks for the laugh as we close out the morning. We did know what you mean, we just had fun with your choice of words.

  29. Cat Gisel says:

    -Torley Linden http://torley-linden.s3.amazonaws.com/little-watermelon-eye.png
    Thanx to your interest, Second Life video tutorials are #4 on Google!

    Yeay, congratulations! Then again, some might see it as the need to know how to report all the problems they are having :(, or it’s just so danged complicated, so be careful. What were numbers 3,2 and 1?

  30. Cat Gisel says:

    We need videos on how to use video tutorials!

  31. Ciaran Laval says:

    Having to provide a video tutorial on how to report a bug really does exemplify that this is not a user friendly system. An end user wants bug reporting to be straight forward and simple, If I implemented a system like this at work, it would be great in terms of workload, because the vast majority of my users would not use it.

    There are too many options to go through, the system is cumbersome, it is not user friendly, it is a very very poor bug reporting tool.

    The Jira should be used by those trying to fix bugs, it is not a good system for those who merely want to report them. Until you implement a user friendly system, the average user isn’t going to use the Jira as you hope they will.

  32. Sunchan says:

    I didn’t received the mail of confirmation …

  33. For the folks a tad upset by #16: Don’t sweat him, he’s probably just using negative attention to fish for people to go to whatever site he linked. Or he just likes upsetting and insulting folks. Don’t feed the trolls 😉

  34. Max Kleiber says:

    I stopped looking at the video after about 5 minutes.
    I have attempted to use it in the past, and found it to be confusing.
    it says, very clearly near the top of the page” Second Life Issues (BETA)”
    where is the one for the main grid?

  35. Bokrug says:

    Hey Arthur. I’m a Furry in SL and gay in RL. It’d be Wonderful to meet up with you some time, what do you say? My friends and I have this Wonderful thing we do with gay-bashers, you’d love it!

  36. Ryanna Enfield says:

    @22 and 31.. Thank you. I agree with you 100 percent. I’ve been in SL since 05. The fact that JIRA is such a pain to use and I have not seen any of the seriously important issues being fixed, makes it all the more easier for me to spend my time elsewhere. I would report the fact that half of the time I try to TP I freeze up and crash from SL only to log back in to a completely frozen AV and have to relog again… But what is the point? Many people have this same problem, and it has been an issue for months now and nothing has been done about it. You will also notice if you can manage to search the issue in Jira that it has already been reported many many times over with no fix. The fact that you had to make a video tutorial to show people how to use JIRA is a very good indication that it is not so easy to use afterall.

  37. William says:

    “Is Torley a fruit?
    I have nothing against pillow biters, but homosexuals tend to find even the most irritating things just “wonderful!”
    I’m actually surprised this he-she has time to post these videos since in game I imagine them being tied down by a furrie and getting sodomized with one of those scripted weiners that give a facial after the guys busts his loaf.”

    I REALLLY shouldn`t feed into this BUT

    This is a prime exanple, of why evolution is not a perfect science…Throw backs happen, IQ is not a requirement for breeding.
    Take your close-minded…bull@@@ somewhere else, You are an intolerant, socialy inept, worthless piece of garbage , NO better than the least skilled newbie griefr walkin round with a prim @@@@ askin “sex me now???”
    When everybody at the Junior High said “Get a life”…that wern`t talkin bout takin you`r crap to second life

  38. Tracey Humphreys says:

    I often find bugs that I could describe pretty accurately in a short IM.

    In a dream world, I could send this to a bug reporting centre in SL, with little waste of time and without having to leave SL. SL’s Customer Services would then take over, and file a JURA report, if needed.

    If the Lindens really wanted our feedback surely they would have set up some user-friendly system like this?

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  40. Maybe some people find it too hard to use. That’s regrettable. I find it very easy to submit bugs and feature ideas, always get good replies on them or see internal IDs added (meaning the Lindens put it on the “to-do” pile). I even had a reported bug (on the SL website) fixed within a day or so.

    But it’s so much more other companies offer! Does YouTube have no bugs? Oh, sure they have them. Where can I go to file a report? I have no clue.
    Currently I’m having a problem with a website that doesn’t recognize UNIX-newlines (for the techies, OS X uses LF for newlines, rather than CR or CR+LF other systems do). I e-mailed them, saying there was a problem, all I got was the advice to try another browser. How is that for solving bugs?

    Even though some people may not get the JIRA system, at least LL is listening and they ARE fixing bugs us, the Residents, filed. And with that, LL is one of the very few unique companies that actually listens to its customers. And surely there’s a lot that can be better, but this simply is what it is right now, and that’s more than most other companies, imo.

  41. Ciaran Laval says:

    @40 “I e-mailed them, saying there was a problem,”

    Bingo, straight forward way of reporting the bug, although the answer you got wasn’t the one you wanted, reporting the bug was easy. This is where the Jira fails.

    They need a bug reporting tool where users report bugs and then those who search the Jira and find it easy to use merge duplicates, talk to each other and work on a fix but the initial reporting of the bug should be as easy as sending an email.

  42. @41, Ciaran Laval:
    Yes, but it’s not transparent. I send them an e-mail and I have no idea what they’re doing with it. I imagine some customer relations person reading it, not understanding what I’m talking about, mails me back with an unsatisfactory answer and throwing the initial mail away.
    With JIRA, other people can comment, people who know what they’re talking about, come up with suggestions for workarounds, in the case of SL even come with patches and I see when an issue is imported. That assures me they really do care and are fixing the problem. I know for sure that website is not going to add that one line of code this year, even if I keep nagging them about it. They just could’ve said: “we passed it on to our devs team and it’ll be fixed soon” and I’d been happy, because that is what should have been done. Now I’m unhappy and really dislike the site.

    And imo, JIRA is what you describe: users can report bugs, those who search and flag duplicates, talk and work on a fix are there. Look at Torley’s video again. He did not search if the issue already existed, just went and filed the bug. Any changes and comments will be mailed to him, he really needs to do nothing about it anymore. And look at that form: it’s almost exactly like sending an e-mail, but instead of typing in an address, you copy your system info. And many other sites require you to specify the component on which you’re sending a help ticket, so JIRA is no different there.

    So maybe it is just a bit harder than sending an e-mail, the transparency you get is worth so much more imo. And what do you want? Sending your bug in an e-mail and see nothing is done about it or sending your bug in a tad harder JIRA and see people commenting on it, helping you out and helping LL out?

  43. Ryanna Enfield says:

    @41 Yes Torley didn’t search because, if he tried, the tutorial would have been a half hour long. He would have spent 20 minutes looking up random things because the search function is horrid and pulls up all kinds of non-related searches. I love the opening page after log in… Uh… lots of info on what JIRA is and how to use it.. nothing clearly stating Report Bug here. My favorite line in JIRA is where it asks you to fill in Environment. I am a premium paying customer, I own land that I pay for every month. JIRA is a system that should be used for closed Beta Testers. I don’t want to spend 10-20 minutes navigating a complex and technical bug report system. I’m not being paid by LL to fill out bug reports. Second Life no matter what you believe is simply a product. I am more than happy to point out if there is a problem or flaw in that product using a user-friendly bug reporting system. I will not, however, waste my time as a paying customer to do the job of a Beta Tester. If Second Life has so many issues that it feels it must implement JIRA and ask its clients to be Beta Testers, then perhaps they should pay the clients, or stop charging for a Beta Product that is Second Life.

  44. Sindy Tsure says:

    Good as always, Torley!

    Two comments, though.. One is that the RC login screen hasn’t has Preferences button in a while now – it’s still there under the Edit menu and the Help menu has About SL in it. The other is that I don’t think us mortals get an Advanced view in JIRA. Or, if we can, I can’t find it..

  45. Ciaran Laval says:

    @42 “So maybe it is just a bit harder than sending an e-mail, the transparency you get is worth so much more imo. And what do you want? Sending your bug in an e-mail and see nothing is done about it or sending your bug in a tad harder JIRA and see people commenting on it, helping you out and helping LL out?”

    I work in support, if we introduced the jira the amount of users reporting problems would be so low it wouldn’t be worth having a fault reporting system.

    You have a point about transparency, we’ve seen a marked increase in the amount of faults reported since we implemented a system of sending automated emails when faults are reported and when closed, with a description of the fault. Reports are 50% up on 12 months ago, this is because people have more faith in the system.

    The step that is missing is the what happens in between when users want to know what’s happening.

    However, I know damn well that the vast majority of my users would not use the Jira, they would not report faults that way, they would not have the patience to learn how to use it. This is a fact of life, the more difficult the system is to negotiate, the less likely it is to be used.

    The Jira is a tool for techie types, it’s not a tool for users who just want to report a problem.

  46. Alissa Sabre says:

    Ah ha!

    I recently noticed that there are issue filings on JIRA whose Description is full of lines beginning with “-“, “*”, and “=”. I was just puzzled what they mean and why multiple people suddenly started to use them.

    Now I know the source of the phenomenon…

  47. I can only agree with Ryanna, and sad to see such things as #16 Arthur – makes me think he has a great need to come out from the closet, and confess his inner dreams instead of projecting them on other individuals.
    Many of the functions in SL are Intuitive, but the bug report system is not. If you would want to be mean, you could imply this is done on purpose.

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  52. Vex Streeter says:

    Of course, then there’s “Fix may cause problems for scripts relying in long object names and descriptions” two blog entries later (which sounds like half my advanced scripts will break), referencing the double secret issue SVC-997 (you get a PERMISSION VIOLATION if you try to see it), and the comments are closed. grump.

    On topic: I prefer bugzilla over jira systems, mainly because I find searches more productive. Anywhere you’ve got entirely user-submitted reports, you have searching problems due to lack of descriptive uniformity. Maybe a google engine would be more effective than the built-in jira search for novices. At any rate, if you can’t find it, it is probably worth re-reporting it.

    @14 SVC-930 – um maybe I’m missing the point, but SVC-930 is one of the bugs they are trying to address with this server update..

    @16 Arthur is obviously aching to escape his closet.

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