This Saturday was all about how to find bugs, rather than how to fix bugs (for a change). Often we developers just log on to Bugs Ahoy to find out our favorite bugs and get to solving them. I really hadn’t given a thought as to what the process is, behind how a bug gets filed until recently when I heard about Mozilla’s bug bounty program. According to the program, critical bugs if reported can fetch you up to $3000, which is a considerable amount of money especially for students like me. Apart from that, it’s like playing god with some poor chap’s well written code. It makes you feel all powerful when you get to point the mistakes, right?
The one thing I understood while I was searching for bugs is that they are like witnesses in a court case. “Bugs don’t appear out of thin air, you got to look for them.” And to be specific I’d like to borrow the words of caitp,
That’s exactly how you stumble upon bugs. It’s really not rocket-science. Well you need to get a Firefox Nightly or Beta setup ready since this is where the bugs are in abundance, waiting to be exterminated. From Nightly, the version takes shape into Beta and then to the Firefox release version that we are so fond of as you can see here.
At the FSMK office we first setup a working version of Nightly on our Linux based operating systems. Then, we made accounts on BMO, which was followed by “exploring” the newly installed Nightly version of the browser.
I did talk about what known bugs are, and how we differentiate from the unknown ones. When you hit Ctrl + P on your Nightly browser on a Linux machine, you are bound to get the following message,
e10s printing is not implemented yet. Bug 927188.
which confirms the fact that it is a known bug and that, the Print function has still not been implemented properly. When you see the bug info for #927188 on the Bugzilla page, you can see that it’s been assigned to someone equally awesome, who’s probably working right now to fix it. As you can see, there’s other vital info about the bug as well. The comment section which follows keeps track of all the communication about the particular bug. And basically gives you an idea as to how the bug’s going to be fixed – sooner or later!
Coming back to what we were talking about, how do you report an unknown bug? Nightly often crashes while multiple tabs are open and you’re trying to load simultaneously, multiple websites. At times, this causes a crash. The page at which the crash occurs might be different at different points of time. Logging the erroneous page could also be helpful for developers to authenticate the site. And when such a thing does occur, all you have to do is this,
- Click on File a Bug
- Choose a platform on which your bug is (Firefox)
- In Step 2 you need to describe a few keywords about the bug
- If a similar bug shows up, please avoid filing the bug and look for new ones
- If it’s a new issue, Click on “My Issue is not listed” to go this page
- Once you’re there, fill in all the steps and answer the questions
- Click on Submit Bug once you’re done
That’s all for today folks. I hope it would’ve been a lot more better if the power god had shown some mercy. Do put in your feedback, suggestions or any questions you might have in the comment section below. I’ll be happy to get back to you.