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Bug reports

CoRA is an actively maintained project that we constantly strive to improve. With a project of this size and complexity, bugs may occur. If you think you have discovered a bug, you can help us by submitting an issue in our public issue tracker, following this guide.

Before creating an issue

With more than 20,000 users, issues are created every other day. The maintainers of this project are trying very hard to keep the number of open issues down by fixing bugs as fast as possible. By following this guide, you will know exactly what information we need to help you quickly.

But first, please do the following things before creating an issue.

Upgrade to latest version

Chances are that the bug you discovered was already fixed in a subsequent version. Thus, before reporting an issue, ensure that you're running the latest version of CoRA. Please consult our [upgrade guide] to learn how to upgrade to the latest version.

Bug fixes are not backported

Please understand that only bugs that occur in the latest version of CoRA will be addressed. Also, to reduce duplicate efforts, fixes cannot be backported to earlier versions.

Customizations mentioned in our documentation

A handful of the features CoRA offers can only be implemented with customizations. If you find a bug in any of the customizations that our documentation explicitly mentions, you are, of course, encouraged to report it.

Don't be shy to ask on our discussion board for help if you run into problems.

Search for solutions

At this stage, we know that the problem persists in the latest version and is not caused by any of your customizations. However, the problem might result from a small typo or a syntactical error in a configuration file, e.g., mkdocs.yml.

Now, before you go through the trouble of creating a bug report that is answered and closed right away with a link to the relevant documentation section or another already reported or closed issue or discussion, you can save time for us and yourself by doing some research:

  1. Search our documentation and look for the relevant sections that could be related to your problem. If found, make sure that you configured everything correctly.1

  2. Search our issue tracker, as another user might already have reported the same problem, and there might even be a known workaround or fix for it. Thus, no need to create a new issue.

  3. Search our discussion board to learn if other users are struggling with similar problems and work together with our great community towards a solution. Many problems are solved here.

Keep track of all search terms and relevant links, you'll need them in the bug report.2


At this point, when you still haven't found a solution to your problem, we encourage you to create an issue because it's now very likely that you stumbled over something we don't know yet. Read the following section to learn how to create a complete and helpful bug report.

Issue template

We have created a new issue template to make the bug reporting process as simple as possible and more efficient for our community and us. It is the result of our experience answering and fixing more than 1,600 issues (and counting) and consists of the following parts:

Title

A good title is short and descriptive. It should be a one-sentence executive summary of the issue, so the impact and severity of the bug you want to report can be inferred from the title.

Example
Clear Built-in typeset plugin changes precedence of nav title over h1
Wordy The built-in typeset plugin changes the precedence of the nav title over the document headline
Unclear Title does not work
Useless Help

Context optional

Before describing the bug, you can provide additional context for us to understand what you were trying to achieve. Explain the circumstances in which you're using CoRA, and what you think might be relevant. Don't write about the bug here.

Why this might be helpful: some errors only manifest in specific settings, environments or edge cases, for example, when your documentation contains thousands of documents.

Bug description

Now, to the bug you want to report. Provide a clear, focused, specific, and concise summary of the bug you encountered. Explain why you think this is a bug that should be reported to CoRA, and not to one of its dependencies.3 Adhere to the following principles:

  • Explain the what, not the how – don't explain how to reproduce the bug here, we're getting there. Focus on articulating the problem and its impact as clearly as possible.

  • Keep it short and concise – if the bug can be precisely explained in one or two sentences, perfect. Don't inflate it – maintainers and future users will be grateful for having to read less.

  • One bug at a time – if you encounter several unrelated bugs, please create separate issues for them. Don't report them in the same issue, as this makes attribution difficult.


Stretch goal – if you found a workaround or a way to fix the bug, you can help other users temporarily mitigate the problem before we maintainers can fix the bug in our code base.

Why we need this: in order for us to understand the problem, we need a clear description of it and quantify its impact, which is essential for triage and prioritization.

Of course, prior to reporting a bug, you have read our documentation and could not find a working solution. Please share links to all sections of our documentation that might be relevant to the bug, as it helps us gradually improve it.

Additionally, since you have searched our issue tracker and discussion board before reporting an issue, and have possibly found several issues or discussions, include those as well. Every link to an issue or discussion creates a backlink, guiding us maintainers and other users in the future.


Stretch goal – if you also include the search terms you used when searching for a solution to your problem, you make it easier for us maintainers to improve the documentation.

Why we need this: related links help us better understand what you were trying to achieve and whether sections of our documentation need to be adjusted, extended, or overhauled.

Steps to reproduce

At this point, you provided us with enough information to understand the bug and provided us with a reproduction that we could run and inspect. However, when we run your reproduction, it might not be immediately apparent how we can see the bug in action.

Thus, please list the specific steps we should follow when running your reproduction to observe the bug. Keep the steps short and concise, and make sure not to leave anything out. Use simple language as you would explain it to a five-year-old, and focus on continuity.

Why we need this: we must know how to navigate your reproduction in order to observe the bug, as some bugs only occur at certain viewports or in specific conditions.

Device optional

If you're reporting a bug that only occurs in one or more specific devices, we need to know which devices are affected. This field is optional.

OS optional

If you're reporting a bug that only occurs in one or more specific operating systems, we need to know which operating systems (OS) are affected. This field is optional.

Browser optional

If you're reporting a bug that only occurs in one or more specific browsers, we need to know which browsers are affected. This field is optional.


Incognito mode – Please verify that a the bug is not caused by a browser extension. Switch to incognito mode and try to reproduce the bug. If it's gone, it's caused by an extension.

Why we need this: some bugs only occur in specific browsers or versions. Since now, almost all browsers are evergreen, we usually don't need to know the version in which it occurs, but we might ask for it later. When in doubt, add the browser version as the first step in the field above.

Checklist

Thanks for following the guide and creating a high-quality and complete bug report – you are almost done. The checklist ensures that you have read this guide and have worked to your best knowledge to provide us with everything we need to know to help you.

We'll take it from here.


  1. When adding lines to mkdocs.yml, make sure you are preserving the indentation as mentioned in the documentation since YAML is a whitespace-sensitive language. Many reported issues turn out to be configuration errors. 

  2. We might be using terminology in our documentation different from yours, but we mean the same. When you include the search terms and related links in your bug report, you help us to adjust and improve the documentation. 

  3. Sometimes, users report bugs on our issue tracker that are caused by one of our upstream dependencies, including MkDocs, Python Markdown, Python Markdown Extensions or third-party plugins. A good rule of thumb is to change the theme.name to mkdocs or readthedocs and check if the problem persists. If it does, the problem is likely not related to CoRA and should be reported upstream. When in doubt, use our discussion board to ask for help. 


Last update: 2023-12-23
Created: 2023-12-23