Friday, March 21, 2008

User Experience with Bugtracking in PHP

I am sick of reporting bugs which get marked as bogus.

Who chose bogus as a label? Why? What were they thinking?

"Hi! I see you care enough to report a problem with our product. We've taken a closer look, and here's our answer: this is bogus."

This seems to be only the PHP bugtracker where this happens, and where it makes me foam at the mouth.

I don't have experiences like this in other bugtrackers/communities, including BMO, Trac, Rails and PEAR.

I think the worst thing about all of this is when I report a bug like 44489.

I have:
  • Read the manual
  • Used the same code as the example code in the manual
  • Used it successfully in at least 20 other cases
  • Received an error PHP Warning: XSLTProcessor::importStylesheet(): compilation error:
    file line 179
    element type
  • Verified it works with xsltproc
  • Visually inspected the xsl to see if there is anything obvious

and I get an answer of:

You need to load stylesheets with proper flags:



Now this is not rrichard's fault at all, he's putting in the time and effort to actually solve my problems; but the tools and the default responses he gets shifted into by them are abysmal.

The correct answer here, and in many other bugs is not bogus.

It's we need more documentation, sorry this was confusing, we'll do better next time.

That way, I feel like the developers actually care that I invested the time to file the bug, and it helps identify areas of low documentation coverage.

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