Writing a useful bug report

From time to time, people have trouble with the Instructables site. Often they have found a bug that we need to fix. If this happens to you, here's how to tell us so we can fix it as soon as possible.

A lot of times the bug you found has been reported already. Do a quick search in the bug forums to see if you can find an existing report. There may be a workaround that someone has posted, or an estimated fix time. If it's already been reported, go ahead and comment on that rather than making a new report.

Check, as well, if the problem is something on your system that we can't do anything about. For example, Firefox users may have installed the Greasemonkey extension, and some Greasemonkey scripts cause unexpected behavior on Instructables.

Provide a lot of information, including:
  • the OS and browser you're using
  • a link to the page you were on, and/or the page before, where things were still OK
  • the error message you got, if any (copy/paste if possible)
  • anything else you can think of that seems relevant

In order to fix the problem, we have to be able to see it happen - we have to be able to reproduce it. Write a step-by-step list of the things you did to get the problem. If you don't remember exactly, try doing what you were doing again, slowly, to get the bug a second time. If you can't get it to happen again, we probably won't be able to get it to happen either. Sad but true.

Some bugs may take a while to fix, either because they're very difficult, or because other bugs and features are higher priority. In general, if you can't do something you should be able to do, we'll fix it as soon as possible. Things that just look weird, or have alternate ways to be done, we'll fix later.

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astral_mage3 years ago

why cant i post in the featured zone . when i logged in. even after i log in and go back there it still wont let me make a post . but yr site has np of letting me post any where else.

That sometimes happens when you have an old cookie from the last time you logged in, or having a browser add-on that stops the page from loading completely. You can try

  • Disabling any script blocking add-ons to your browser, like Ad-Block, GreaseMonkey, or LastPass
  • Making sure you have cookies enabled for your browser
  • Clearing your browser's cache

After, refresh Instructables.com and try logging in again.

jdevries43 years ago

Not exactly a bug: the downloadable versions are extremely nice. However, the comments made (an ever growing list, I _do realize_) can sometimes be nearly as important as the Instructable. But there is no easy way of grabbing the comments. I'm quite willing to be corrected about methodology, but trying to scroll properly for a select-copy-paste is difficult and often fails.

From the download page, try the 'custom PDF' function which has the option to in/exclude comments, and a bunch of other options!

JM19993 years ago

Lots of stuff to read


Read crash course on Reporting Bugs at http://tuppad.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Crash-course-on-Reporting-Bugs-in-Software-Testing.pdf & please share this link with testers you know through e-mail or chat or any medium.

DJ Radio9 years ago
rachel (author)  DJ Radio9 years ago
DJ Radio rachel9 years ago
Bug = unexpected feature
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