Product SiteDocumentation Site

Chapter 6. Debugging_the_Code

Greg DeKoenigsberg

Red Hat Community Architecture
6.1. Introduction
6.2. Bug Trackers
6.2.1. What is a Bug Tracker, Exactly?
6.3. Sorting Through the Bugs
6.4. Exercise - Find the Oldest Bug
6.5. Exercise - Create Your Bug Tracker Account
6.6. The Anatomy of a Good Bug Report
6.6.1. Exercise - Reproduce a Bug
6.7. Bug Triage
6.7.1. Exercise - Bug Triage
6.8. Supplemental Reading
6.9. Supplemental Exercises

6.1. Introduction

It would be foolhardy to try to teach the practice of software quality assurance in one chapter. It's a vast field, and there are plenty of places to learn about the difference between white-box and black-box testing, or how to write the best possible regression tests. Those are all worthy fields of study, and you should pursue them -- but they are far beyond the scope of this chapter.
Besides, the simple fact is that for most software projects, bugs are not so uncommon that you need to go looking for them. They find you. Sometimes in bunches.
What makes FOSS interesting, and different, is that you can actually do something about the bugs.
Eric S. Raymond once said that "with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow." This aphorism has become one of the central tenets of FOSS -- but it's only half of the story. The real strength of FOSS lies in the ability of motivated individuals to record, research, and resolve those bugs. Seeing bugs is one thing; reporting them is another; fixing them is something else.
In this chapter, you learn some of the practical techniques that FOSS developers use to find, report, investigate, and fix bugs -- and you begin to contribute, in earnest, to real FOSS projects. You will join the global collaborative effort to solve real problems, for real users, in real software.