Better bug reporting

3. March, 2010

In his blog, stephan writes about the problems you can have as a bug reporter. Basically, when you encounter a bug, you’re in the middle of something that you need to get done. You don’t have time to analyze the bug, collect all the information that might be around, note it down and write a good bug report.

Instead you need to get your job done. Then, later (whenever that might be … tomorrow or in a week or next year), you can worry about the bug. Anyone wondering why bug reports are often so bad?

But there might be a pretty simple solution: Java already can dump its heap (all objects) to a file. So what we need is a way to start this dump and add a screenshot plus a short description to it. This gets stored somewhere and when we’re done with our current task, we can return to the problem, analyze it more deeply or just zip everything up and post it as a raw bug report.

Luckily Eclipse is OSS (a.k.a “Nothing is impossible if you don’t have to do it yourself.”) See Bug 304544.