Comment on a bug report

April 13, 2009


I am aware that my bug report lacked diplomacy. I hope that you would recognize that Eclipse has serious deficiencies along the path to making a good bug report. If it is not important enough to announce the location of the log files in a dialog from which I can select the name, are those log files that important? (and the crash put them in an unexpected place!) If it is not important enough to put the plugins in a form that allows me to quickly summarize which ones I’ve got, is that information that important?

In short, the Eclipse UI does not look like it was designed to generate good bug reports — it put several STUPID extra steps in my way, and left it up to ME to find the information that might be relevant, or not.

This bug is, for me, 99% reproducible, and has been for weeks, through at least the 3.4.1 and 3.4.2 releases. I suggest you try installing the plugins that I installed (you want a concise summary, you make Eclipse generate it more easily — I gave you an ls -l, you ought to be able to grep out the irrelevant ones), wait 24 hours, and get the latest-and-greatest Scala plugin and watch it crash.

I think it is highly unlikely that you actually tested this, since you need to wait for a plugin to get updated. A link to a “how to politely report bugs” site is not evidence that you tried diddly squat.

Furthermore, the bugzilla UI leaves plenty to be desired. It should let me know that there will be a chance to add attachments in a later step, it should make it clear ahead of time that there is a 65536 character limit BEFORE I generate 65k characters. This lack of design induces pilot error and leads to pissed-off pilots, who will then not really give a rat’s ass about your snotty instructions about how to file bugs. You think you’re an expert, yet present me with this crap UI (unselectable text in important messages)? Puh-leeze.

And I think this matters. I am a long-time Eclipse user, and my enthusiasm about recommending Eclipse has gone down in recent months. After all, I’m going to look like an idiot if I recommend a piece of software that crashes on every update, aren’t I?

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