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Reporting Bugs in Blender

22

Sebastian König takes us through the process of reporting bugs in the Blender Bug Tracker.

Sebastian writes:

Bug reporting is an important step to improve the quality and stability of Blender. However, it can be a bit intimidating at first if you think you found a bug and don't know what to do next.

The Blender bug tracker website is not necessarily the most exciting and inviting place to be. But doing proper bug reports is an important skill every Blender user should have. This video tries to walk you through the steps that you need to take in order to do a proper bug report. It's certainly not exciting, but maybe it can help to make it easier for you to report your very own first bug. And I can tell you, it's a great feeling if you find something in Blender that you think doesn't work as it should, report it, and get a message from the developers that you found something that is actually broken. Usually they fix it within few days, sometimes even hours.

But please, only report things that really are broken. The bug tracker is not a place for feature requests. :)

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

22 Comments

  1. Lawrence D’Oliveiro on

    The bug tracker needs a better search facility. It’s hard to be sure something hasn’t already been reported, particularly if the previous report was closed (e.g. because “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”).

    Oh, and did you know Blendernation won’t let me post URLs of Blender bug reports?

    • That's indeed a problem with the current site. It is not much work to check all open bugs, especially when the tracker is as low as it has been lately. However, when something was closed because it was actually not a bug, another user will be likely to report a similar issue. This means more work for the devs.

  2. hey, your reported bug is already fixed! :D

    yeah, the search is not the best, but i think, nobody will kill you, when you report a bug, that was reported already.
    maybe you should do a browser search also in the "Simple Filtering and Sorting" State: "All Closed" section - not only in the "All Open" like in the video. ;)
    or quick browse for State: "Any", Order by: "ID", "Descending".

    and even it is a very simple to reproduce bug, like in the video, it would be easier, for the devs, to have an attached blend file in the state just one or two clicks away from the bug, you reported.

    • Actually this is a tricky question.
      The truth is, there is no perfect solution for that. There are several places where you can discuss ideas. Blenderartists for example is such a place, but I know that discussions there are not always fruitful. But still, several developers read the forum there from time to time, and good suggestions and ideas often get picked up.

      There is also the Blender Funboard Mailing List. http://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-funboard
      There functions and ideas can be discussed. If you propose an idea there, it's probably best to really make a thorough and well thought out proposal, ideally with examples, reasons for the request etc.
      But requests like: "we want better simulations", or "clicking is bad" etc. have a good chance to be ignored.
      Personally I think that if someone shows commitment to Blender, by reporting bugs, testing development versions, donating, subscribing to the Development Fund, well, being an active and helping member of the Blender community has a much better chance to get changes implemented.
      Also, often a feature sounds simple and easy to implement at first, but then it turns out to be quite tricky, because it might lead to inconsistencies, break other things, might require much more changes to the code than what you think. So it gets postponed because there are more important things to fix. But that's just the way it is. It's not like Adobe or Autodesk is listening to users at all... ;)

      Maybe there can be a better solution for this.

      But ultimately good ideas simply rise to the top. :)

    • Though, I think if the bug-reporting process was a little simpler, more people would do it.

      If Blender builds had a way to allow users to record screencasts of bugs and send it in as a bug report with a simple form to fill out, with the bug-reporting system automatically detecting the user's operating system and graphics card as well as the version of the Blender build reporting the bug, that might prove to not only be a faster way to show bugs, but also the clearest way to show it. It could be a "Record and Report A Bug" feature.

      Also, if the bug reporting system had an easier way to search through previous bugs reports, that'd be very useful. I think this is one of the biggest reasons why some people come to the page, but get a bit discouraged when they have to carefully look through the previous entries.

      I think many people find bugs and hope someone else reports them--or they mention them in inappropriate places like BlenderNation or BlenderArtists. But if we had a bug-reporting experience that much more fluid and smoother, I think more people would be encouraged to report bugs.

      In fact, this issue comes just in time as we talk about improving Blender's intuitiveness with its user-interaction design--I think bug reporting would also benefit from some user-interaction considerations. Though, baby steps. The dev team can only do so much at a time. And for that, I appreciate them and will continue to use the current bug-reporting system.

        • Forget to mention that the second part of my comment was just speaking to the general audience. But yeah, I'm glad we even have this much of a system to report bugs and that usually, these bugs get handled fairly quickly. It's speedier than some other software developers do about handling bugs. Thanks again for the video. Even useful video helps. :)

  3. The first time I tried making a bug report, I actually ended up, not sending it, cause it was easier to live with the bug and hope someone else had submitted it.

    So yea, I was surprised to see how the Blender Foundation have a outdated Bug Reporting System, that both lack the usability it needs and finesse for searching for bugs.

    If anyone that manages the Blender Page sees this, contact me and I'll update the page and make a better search function, for the community.

  4. Thank you Sebastian, I never knew exactly how to go about it, but also was never sure what was a bug and what was due to my doing something wrong. I think the steps you covered will help in the future.

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