Difference between revisions of "Bug reporting"

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Preconditions: ''Anything that helps set up the environment, e.g. specific config.php settings or settings admin needs to have enabled''
Preconditions: ''Anything that helps set up the environment, e.g. specific config.php settings or settings admin needs to have enabled.''
Steps to reproduce:
Steps to reproduce:

Revision as of 14:41, 3 June 2019


When you find a potential problem in Mahara, it helps the project team greatly to have as much information available as possible. Before the status of a problem can be decided on, the team needs to be able to replicate it.

Sometimes, it is very easily to replicate an issue, if it is very obvious. At other times, it takes several steps and a particular setup to replicate the problem. Therefore, the more information you can provide the better. It also helps to have exact steps available to replicate the issue.

If there is an actual problem that needs fixing, these steps to replicate the problem help quality assurance (QA) to verify that the solution provided by a developer is the accurate one for the problem that was reported.

Here are a few elements that should be included in each bug report.

Bug reporting.png


Detailed description in plain English

A summary of the problem, typically 1-2 sentences in plain English. If it is necessary to post technical details, provide a short summary in plain English as that will help QA to decide who will need to test the proposed solution.

Terminology in Mahara changes over time. That means that certain terms used in the code are no longer seen by people using Mahara. For example, a "view" is now a "page". A "blog" is a "journal". Where possible, use the term that is seen by people on the front-end when describing the issue rather than its term used in the code (or provide both to help a developer).

Steps to replicate the issue

Provide steps to replicate the issue. Below, please find a template to get you started. You do not have to provide every single step. For example, it is assumed that you need to log in to Mahara.

It is sufficient to start with "As site admin go to Admin menu -> Configure site -> ...". If you need multiple pages, it is OK to write "Create 10 pages." You do not need to specify their titles (unless that is important).


Preconditions: Anything that helps set up the environment, e.g. specific config.php settings or settings admin needs to have enabled.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...

Expected result: Write down what you are supposed to see.

Actual result: Write down what you actually see.

Version of Mahara you are using

The version(s) of Mahara in which you encountered the issue. You can find the version number when you are logged in as site administrator -> Administration menu -> Admin overview. Ideally, provide the entire version number, including the minor point number.

If you are not on the latest minor point version of the release of Mahara that you are using, you should update first as we fix high importance bugs in minor point versions for supported versions of Mahara and the problem you encountered may have already been fixed. Check the release page for more information on the latest minor point version for the release of Mahara you have and whether that release is still supported. If it is not supported, it is recommended that you upgrade first.

Operating system, browser, database, PHP incl. version

Information about your test environment.

  • If it is a styling / theme issue, usually, the browser and its version as well as the operating system and its version are sufficient.
  • If it is anything else, also provide information about the database and its version as well as the version of PHP that you are using.

Anything else useful

  • Paste any error message that was displayed. If you only see "This is a nonrecoverable error...", check your error log for the actual error. Unless you are not in production mode, actual errors are not printed to the screen for security reasons. The generic message does not help debug the problem. We require the full error message.
  • Provide a screenshot where possible. This helps in particular with front-end related issues to see the problem. If you feel that your issue is best shown in a short screencast, you are welcome to make that available.
Strip out any pieces from the error message that could identify your site, in particular its domain. Replace it by something that you can post publicly, but leave as much as possible intact so as not to strip out relevant information. Also, replace any personal user information if needed.


Watch your email inbox for messages regarding the issue you reported and reply. If you do not reply and we cannot replicate the issue, no further investigation will be conducted.