AbiWord: Report a Bug

It's Probably a Bug!

Some users are timid about submitting bugs. They might think that they "did" something to the program to cause it to misbehave. Don't be afraid! It probably is a bug, and if it's not that's ok too. In particular, the following are almost certainly signs of a bug:

  • AbiWord crashed with "Illegal Operation" or segmentation fault
  • AbiWord "freezes" and stops responding.
  • AbiWord won't do X correctly (print, open a file, etc.)

Other, less drastic but "weird" behavior could still be a bug. In particular, if a preferences-option doesn't do what it's supposed to do, a window doesn't act like it ought to, these are probably also bugs.

Has the Problem Been Reported?

Before considering reporting a new Bug, you should look at the list of existing Bugs. This list is maintained by BugZilla, and you can search in it from this page (new window).

A good approach is typing 'rfe' in the Keywords field and selecting 'None of the listed keywords set', thus excluding RFEs from the list. You may also reduce the size of the list by selecting specific components (if you know which ones are relevant) or searching for specific words in the summary or description.

If you find a Bug that describes the problem you have observed, please add your specific observations to the Bug so that the developers are aware of this fact. It may help track down the cause of the problem.

Before You Report A New Bug

Please take a look at the Bug Writing Guidelines. Following these guidelines will make it easier for the developers to solve the problem. Thanks!

How To Report A New Bug

AbiWord uses a system called BugZilla to keep track of bugs. BugZilla is easy to use and makes it easy to see how your bug has progressed, and when it is resolved.

To report a bug, you first must create a BugZilla account (Link will open in new window). This is easy and only requires a valid email address. Once you create your account, a password will be mailed to the email address you specified. You only need to create an account once, and you can use it from then on out to report as many bugs as you can find.

Once you receive the password, you can enter a new bug report (new window).

After you've submitted a bug, you can always go back and add more details. To do this, just go to BugZilla's QuickSearch (new window) and search for your bug by number or keywords. You can then go into your bug and add additional comments.

What Should I Expect Afterwards?

The time it takes for a bug to be fixed is largely dependent on how elusive the bug is. In general, you should receive some form of acknowledgement that your bug has been received.

In particular, if you included instructions on how to repeat the bug (recommended), then you will likely get some responses that say "I (was/was not) able to reproduce the bug." If other people can reproduce the bug, this is good and it will probably get resolved quickly. If the bug isn't reproducible, it may be awhile before its cause is tracked down.

If the bug cannot be reproduced from the instructions provided, a developer will not be able to do anything about the problem. She will normally leave a comment asking for more information (or just add the keyword 'needinfo'). This is a request for you to add more details or answer questions from the developer - the bug will be closed if this does not happen in a timely manner (say within 2 weeks). If one of your bugs has been closed in this way, you are always welcome to add the needed information and reopen the Bug.

You can check the status of your bug at any time. To do this, you can use BugZilla's QuickSearch (new window) and search for your bug by number or keywords.