Sunday, 20 April 2014

Filing a bug report in KwaMoja

It appears from above that the administrator of webERP is shutting the project to new contributors, so it seems like a good time to run a series of articles on how to contribute to KwaMoja. Here is the first in that series:

image02Many people are nervous about reporting problems with open source projects. They fear that the developers will see it as a criticism. However all developers know that there is no such thing as "bug free" software. Any help they can get in tracking down and fixing these bugs is always appreciated.
KwaMoja uses a system called the bug genie to track any bugs in the software. We thought it waould be useful to write this short guide to filing bugs in KwaMoja using the bug genie.
Ok, so let's imagine that we have found a problem that we think may be a bug in the General Ledger Journal functionality (this will be an imaginary bug, I am not aware of any at the moment). The first thing we will need to do is to create an account for ourselves on the bug tracker. This is necessary firstly as it prevents spammers, secondly it enables you to track your bug, and for the developers to discuss the issue with you, enabling a dialog between you. Click here to enter the bug reporting section. You should see something like this:
If you already have a login, or you want to use one of the openid methods then
you can login from here. If you wish to create a new account then click on the tab marked "Register new account". You should now see a screen looking something like the one on the left.
image02Filling out this information and submitting it should give you a new randomised password. You should now login with the user and password combination that you have. You should consider changing the password at this point to one that you will remember.
You should now be taken to your dashboard page, giving you a summary of all your activity on bug genie. Obviously at the moment there won't be much on it!! If you are not taken to your dashboard, then click on your name in the top right hand corner and you should be taken there.
You should now see a menu bar at the top of the window looking like the picture
on the right. To enter a bug report select the "Bug Report" option and you will be taken to the main bug reporting screen. This has been kept deliberately simple. There are just three sections that you need to fill in.
  • Short Description
  • Description
  • Reproduction Steps
The short description should be brief but sufficient so that a developer browsing a list can quickly identify what it is about. Compare "KwaMoja doesn't work properly" with "General Ledger Journal gives the wrong total amount". Clearly the second is going to be easier for a developer to immediately understand the issue being reported.
The main description should contain as much information as you can about the issue being reported. You should include what version of KwaMoja you are using, what operating system and version you are using, a description of your server, and what browser you are using to view KwaMoja. Include any further information that you feel may be of use to the developers.
Finally there is the steps to reproduce the issue. Make sure you put everything no matter how obvious it may seem to you. Also include the results of what happens for each step.
Once you have submitted the report you should keep an eye out for feedback from the developer. It is likely you will get asked for more info, or be given a fix to test. Please reply to this feedback to help improve KwaMoja.

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