Bug Submission

Bug submission is an important aspect of many Open Source projects, and submitting bugs correctly increases the chances of the core development team finding and fixing any problems that may arise. Of important note is the realization that it may not be the GIMP causing your particular problem, thus, one can understand the need for clear, concise, and accurate submissions to the GIMP developers.

How to collect the information

As outlined, it is preferred if you can supply a certain level of system information in your bug submissions. You may well be wondering what, or indeed how, to get this all important information.

The first piece of information that is important is the version of GIMP that you are running. This can be found by clicking Help About. As you can imagine, if the problem you are submitting has already been fixed in a more current version of the GIMP than what you are using — the solution will be very straight forward. It is also helpful to know where your copy of the GIMP originated from. Was it included with your distribution? Did you copy it off a magazine CD? Did you download the .rpms or the .debs? This will help locate problems caused by external influences, such as incorrect library versions. Of equal importance is the version of GTK currently in use on your system. The easiest way to find this information is to start a terminal window (Xterm, Eterm, konsole, etc), and run gtk-config --version. This will output your GTK version to the terminal.

Another number that might help is your XFree86 version. This can be a little more difficult to find out. If you use a Linux distribution that uses a package management system such as RedHat, Mandrake, Debian, CorelLinux, or one of the many others, you will find the package tools invaluable in discovering application version numbers. XFree86 is the windowing system that allows Window Managers to display such things as windows, title bars, docks, panels, and all the other prettiness you may see on your screen. If you are using Windows, this does not apply.

If you have a problem related to windowing (such as dialogs not showing, or the GIMP suddenly disappearing without apparent error) or display-oriented strangeness, it would be helpful to know which window manager you are using. Another question that could be asked is whether GNOME or KDE (if either) is being used.

Another useful tidbit of information that is valuable for diagnosis is stating exactly what it is that has caused the problem. Simply saying, "The foo plug-in doesn't work." is not very helpful. Try to be as explicit as possible, "When I clicked 'foo-button' in the 'bar-plugin' GIMP told me that such and such didn't work.". If the developers don't know exactly which part of the GIMP caused the error, or problem you are referring to, they can't really help you.

Now that you have gathered all of the information needed for an accurate bug submission, let's move on to actually submitting the report.

Where to submit your bug report

There is only one good way submit your report. The The GNOME Bug Tracker . You will have to set up a user account and then will be able to submit your report. It is vital that the information provided is accurate.

Now that you've submitted a bug report that's concise, insightful, and just a little daring, what now? It would be unreasonable to expect the developers to respond to every report in person, but know that your report has been noted, and, if it can be reproduced, it will be fixed. Bugs that are not actual bugs (problems that are not related to code) should be answered for you if someone else can reproduce it, or has had the same problem before.