Your guide to filing bug reports and feature requests for Camino.
- What to do with a bug or feature request
- I found a bug. What should I do?
- Camino crashed! What do I do now?
- Camino keeps displaying the “spinning beachball” and does not respond.
- There’s a problem with a page that requires a login.
- I want a new feature. What should I do?
- Can’t I just post a message about the bug/feature in the forum instead?
- Why hasn’t my bug been fixed yet?
- Why was my bug marked WONTFIX?
- If only some people want a feature, couldn’t it just be a preference?
What to do with a bug or feature request
If you want your bug or feature request to be considered, it’s important to follow the right process. Doing so ensures that it will be seen and considered by the Camino developers.
Q. I found a bug. What should I do?
A. Bugs for Camino are managed through a system called Bugzilla. To report a bug, just go to the bug reporting helper and follow the instructions. Be sure to take the time to search for duplicates in step 1, since repeated reports of the same issue waste both your and developers’ time.
Please submit bug reports using the copy of Camino that is exhibiting the bug, if at all possible, as Bugzilla will capture useful information about your copy of Camino when you submit the report. If you cannot use the copy of Camino that has the bug, please be sure to include the version of Camino and the version of Mac OS X you are using (select Camino in the Finder and choose Get Info from the File to find the Camino version number when you are unable to launch Camino).
Please be prepared to respond to questions from Camino developers and bug triage team members; sometimes they will need more information than you provided initially. For instance, bugs may only appear under certain circumstances and the developers may need your help in determining those circumstances. You should also be prepared to perform some light testing to help narrow down the bug or rule out a problem with preferences. For example, the triage team might ask you to test with a clean profile or to see what happens in another browser (this is especially true for bugs which appear on sites that require a login).
If you’ve never used Camino’s bug-reporting system before, you’ll need to create an account first. Creating an account is extremely quick and easy.
Q. Camino crashed! What do I do now?
A. When Camino crashes, please submit a crash report using the Camino Crash Reporter, and, if you can reproduce the crash, please also file a bug report.
When Camino crashes, you will see the Camino Crash Reporter appear and display a dialog stating that “The application Camino has quit unexpectedly.” Fill out the text field with any helpful information about what you were doing just before Camino crashed and then click the Send Report button. Submitting a crash report allows Camino developers to identify causes of many crashes, even those that you cannot readily reproduce, by aggregating anonymous reports from many Camino users.
If you can reproduce the crash, please take the extra step of filing a bug as described above. When reporting a crashing bug, be sure to set the severity to “critical”, add “crash” in the keyword field, and include the following things in your comments: the URL on which the crash occurred (if the crash was browsing-related), detailed steps to reproduce the crash (if some action was required), and a crash report id.
To obtain a crash report id, you need to have submitted a crash report using the Camino Crash Reporter. Then, when you restart Camino, type about:crashes in the location bar and press Return. Camino will display a list of crash reports you have submitted and their corresponding report ids (a long string of letters and numbers). Copy the crash report id corresponding to the crash you are reporting and paste the id into your bug report, for example
bp-8d62ff3e-ef8d-44da-9287-ea8fc2090909, and Bugzilla will then link that string to your crash report.
Please do not paste entire crash reports into the “Comments” field of the bug report.
Q. Camino keeps displaying the “spinning beachball” and does not respond.
A. Camino may have entered a “hung” state, or it may be in the middle of a resource-intensive operation and will recover when the operation has completed. If the spinning beachball persists after a short time, the only way to end this state is to “force quit” Camino. If you can reproduce the situation, file a bug. Be sure to set the severity to “critical”, add “hang” in the keyword field, and have the following things handy: the URL on which the hang occurred (if the hang was browsing-related), detailed steps to reproduce the hang (if some action was required), and a sample of Camino while it is in the hung state.
Before you force quit Camino, open the Activity Monitor application located in the
Utilities subfolder of the
Applications folder. On launch, the application should display a window listing various “processes” that are running on your Mac; select Camino from the list. Then click the Sample Process button on the toolbar (on Mac OS X 10.4, click the Inspect button and then, in the window that opens, click the Sample button). Activity Monitor will then generate a log that will help the developers determine why Camino entered the hung state. When the sample is complete, save the file; you may now close the sample window and force quit Camino.
After you have filed your initial bug report, attach the sample file to the bug using the “Add an attachment” link. Please do not paste samples into the “Comments” field of the bug report.
Q. There’s a problem with a page that requires a login.
A. In most cases the Camino developers and bug triage team members won’t have access to the site in question. However, there are still ways to generate a bug report that will allow the Camino team to assess the problem and hopefully fix it. When you are on the problematic page, take a screenshot (be sure to obscure any personal or confidential information before attaching the screenshot to your bug); a screenshot is most useful for situations where the page does not display properly.
After taking a screenshot, choose Save As… from the File menu and then select HTML Complete from the Format: drop-down menu at the bottom of the Save dialog. This will save a copy of the page and a folder containing all of the files referenced by that page (if the page is saved as
my_page.html, the folder will be called
my_page Files). If the page displayed any personal or confidential information (like a password or an account number), drag the saved .html file onto TextEdit and replace that information with a string of X or other characters. Be careful not to edit any of the HTML. It’s probably a good idea to check all of the associated files in the folder to make sure none of them contain personal information, either.
When you’re sure there’s no personal information remaining, select both the folder and the .html file in the Finder, ctrl-click, and choose Create Archive of 2 items from the Finder’s context menu. After you file your bug report, attach this archive and the screenshot (if needed) to the bug using the “Add an attachment” link. Make sure to include the URL to the page (again, removing any personal information that might be contained in the URL) in your bug report for reference.
Q. I want a new feature. What should I do?
A. Follow the instructions above for reporting a bug, but pick “Enhancement” as the severity at the last step.
Q. Can’t I just post a message about the bug/feature in the forum instead?
A. You could, but it’s extremely unlikely to be fixed if you don’t file a bug. Developers use Bugzilla to track everything that needs to be done, and anything that isn’t in that system can easily be forgotten. There’s no guarantee a forum post will even be seen by a developer.
Q. Why hasn’t my bug been fixed yet?
A. Camino is developed entirely by a small group of volunteers, working in their free time. Limited developer time means that some bugs and feature requests can wait for months, or even years, until someone has time to address them. The order bugs are fixed in depends on overall project priorities, as well as the difficulty of bugs and the skills and interests of individual developers. Do not complain in a bug or ask why it hasn’t been fixed yet—see the Bugzilla etiquette. The only way to get bugs fixed faster is to contribute in some way (such as fixing them yourself, helping to recruit new developers, or helping out in some other way that frees up developers to spend more time on coding).
Demanding that a bug be fixed, whining, threatening to switch browsers, etc., is always counter-productive. Fixing bugs is simply a question of manpower and complaining in a bug wastes the time of everyone reading bug reports or following the progress of a bug via email.
Q. Why was my bug marked WONTFIX?
A. Camino’s goal is to be lightweight and easy to use. That means that it can’t include every feature that is ever requested. Invariably, some people will be unhappy with the decisions that are made regarding which features aren’t included, but strong leadership is necessary to keep Camino true to its vision. WONTFIX decisions are made by the Camino lead, are made for good reason (even if not explained in the bug), and as such are final. Do not complain or argue in a bug that has been marked WONTFIX. Unless you have new, compelling information to add, do not comment in the bug. Please remember that “x people I talked to said this is really important” is not compelling information. Unless you have have done a statistically valid sample of Camino’s entire target user base (and neither Bugzilla nor online forums are representative samples), you aren’t going to convince anyone.
Q. If only some people want a feature, couldn’t it just be a preference?
A. In general, no. First, every piece of code needs to be written and maintained, both of which take developer time away from bugs and other features. Second, each added preference makes all other preferences slightly less accessible. Camino’s goal is to be lightweight, which means keeping the number of preferences down as well.