Triaging (working with) issues
This section will describe how to triage bugs, or in other words help out with bug reports. In a nutshell, it's the process of checking if a reported bug is reproducible (i.e. following a set of instructions will always demonstrate the issue), adding extra information, changing status or adding tags etc. The purpose of triaging bugs is to help the developers and make it easier for them to fix the problem. All you need to get started is to register on GitHub (or log in using openID), where the Widelands issue tracker is.
- Triaging (working with) issues
- How you can help
- Familiarize yourself with the labels
- Select an issue to work on
- Categorize the issue
- If it's a feature/enhancement request/documentation issue:
- If it's a bug or a crash
- Bugs and enhancement/feature requests with little information
- How to copy/paste the current Widelands version
- Questions or other feedback
How you can help
The goal of triaging issues is to make sure bug reports are understandable and contain enough information for a developer to start working on them. There are some fairly easy things you can do to help which are described in the sections below.
If you have any ideas on improving the triage process, please post on the forum or open a new issue on GitHub. You are also welcome to edit this wiki article.
Note: If there is an option for which you need to be a member of the Widelands development team and GitHub is blocking you, please let us know your GitHub nickname and we'll add you to the team.
Note: Automatically adding new issues to the Triage project isn't working yet. So, we need to check for new issues regularly on the main page of the issue tracker. You can also watch the repostory if you want to get e-mail notifications about any changes.
Familiarize yourself with the labels
If you have never worked on Widelands issues before, please have a look at our list of labels and their descriptions.
Labels are a nice way to mark issues which cover the same area. This makes it possible to collect all the issues affecting one area, for instance the editor, so that it gets easier to find these issues later on. This can be a developer who wants to work on the editor and want to know what needs to be done, when you want to reference an older bug in discussion because it deals with the same issue, or if you want to mark a new issue as a duplicate of an older one.
You can see the current labels for an issue on the right-hand side when looking at the issue. Click the little gear icon to add/remove labels.
Select an issue to work on
For finding issues that need triage, go to the Issue triage project and pick an issue from the To Do column. Alternatively, you can also follow-up on an issue in a different column.
Categorize the issue
- Read the description carefully
- Search all issues for relevant keywords to find any duplicates. If it's a duplicate:
- Add the duplicate label to the issue
- Add a comment with a link to the other issue
- Close the issue. This will automatically shift it to the Done column and the triage is complete.
- If it's not a duplicate:
- Add all labels that fit. Decide whether it's a bug, an enhancement/feature request or a cleanup/refactoring or a documentation task etc, and add the appropriate label for this too. If it concerns image, sound or music files and needs an artist, add the "media" label.
- If Widelands crashes or hangs or if it's an annoying bug, assign the issue to the current milestone too to ensure that it will not fall off the radar.
- You can stop here if you don't want to do any more work on it. You have helped already! If you want to do more work, read the sections below.
If it's a feature/enhancement request/documentation issue:
- If the request is clear and you agree, pull it over to the Done column.
- If it still needs discussion/consensus, pull it over to the Under Discussion column. Add a comment as you see fit.
If it's a bug or a crash
Check for bugs that need confirming in the To Do and Needs Information columns. Pick an issue, read through the description and see if you can reproduce the problem. Most good bug reports leave instructions for how to trigger the problem. For instance:
Start the game.
Click the button marked "New game"
The game crashed.
All you need to do is follow the instructions, and see if you have the same result.
- If you can reproduce it:
- Ensure that the reproduction steps are explained clearly
- Add a comment that it has been reproduced, including the Widelands version and, if relevant, your operating system. Something like "Reproduced on Windows 10 with 73f9eb5c0b26599b72609f3e27de569f49049269." or "Reproduced on Ubuntu 18.04 with Widelands Build 20." should be sufficient
- If you saw any error messages, add them to your comment
- Pull the issue over to the Done column
- If you can't reproduce it:
- Add a comment to request more information
- Pull the issue over to the Needs Information column
Bugs and enhancement/feature requests with little information
Sometimes it can be hard to understand exactly what the bug report is about or how to trigger it, or a feature request still needs to be fleshed out and agreed upon. Imagine the following bug report:
The game crashed.
Ok, so the game crashed. This gives us very little information what is happening, and more importantly why it happens. For a developer to fix this and stop the game from crashing he or she needs to know as much as possible about how the crash is triggered in order to reproduce it and fix the underlying issue. In case of bug reports lacking information, we need to ask the reporter to provide more information. Remember to be polite in your requests and thank reporters when they provide additional information. In the example above, there are some basic things we probably would like to know to check if we can provoke the same crash (and mark the bug confirmed). Relevant information would be:
which version of Widelands the reporter is running. Older versions may have bugs which are already fixed in later versions. When checking bugs reported in older versions, please check against the latest stable version or the development version if the issue is still present.
which operating system the reporter is using. Due to differences between Windows, Mac Os X, Linux and various, less-known operating systems, there may be issues which only occur on some platforms. However the majority of bugs will most likely affect all platforms, so if you can reproduce a bug on a different operating system it can be confirmed. On the other hand, bugs you cannot reproduce on a different platform than the reporters should be checked by someone running the same system to see if there is something only affecting. In the latter case, please leave a message informing that the bug is not affecting you operating system. o
- ask the reporter to include error messages if any. If the game crashes, or you are unable to load a map it will most likely display an error message stating what went wrong. Even though they may not make much sense, a developer may recognize what the problem is. Even in a worst case scenario, the developer will be able to search for the error message in the source code to see where the problem occured.
When asking questions, please subscribe to the issue in question so that you will be notified when more information is posted.
Alternatively, you can also provide the missing information yourself. If a bug report contains a good description of the bug but for instance is lacking an error message or a screenshot of what happens, you can collect this and add it in a comment. For instance:
Hello, the game crashes when I click on that button as well. I get an error message saying 'Command not found. Not a valid button!'.
How to copy/paste the current Widelands version
On the command line, call
$ git log
The output will start with a line looking like this:
commit 73f9eb5c0b26599b72609f3e27de569f49049269 (HEAD -> master, origin/master, origin/HEAD)
If you copy/paste
73f9eb5c0b26599b72609f3e27de569f49049269 into your comment, GitHub will automatically turn it into a link to the code.
Questions or other feedback
If something is unclear, or you would like learn more about a certain aspect of bug triaging, feel free to leave questions or suggestions here or in the forum thread. No questions are considered silly. Remember, there is probably others with the same questions or may be someone looking for it in the future. Example:
How do I do X?
Could someone write a section on Y?