Get off my lawn.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bug Buddy

I saw something interesting this evening while I was poking around in the internals of a Linux machine.

I was playing with the Theme Manager for the user interface, and creating a theme that featured glossy black title bars and other stuff. I had the Theme Manager open while I was doing this, so I could see the results of the changes I was making as I made them.

At one point, I drug a big folder full of icons into the icons folder while Theme Manager was running. Suddenly, a dialog box appeared and informed me that a problem had occurred. It asked me what I was doing "when the crash occurred". Huh? What crash? I typed "Copying some icons around while making a new theme." It prompted me to press the "Send" button to send a report of the problem to the developers so they could fix it. I did so, and went back to messing around.

Later, I got an e-mail that informed me that the crash I experienced had been filed as a bug in a Gnome bug database, with a severity of "Critical", priority of "High". It also apparently signed me up with a "bug buddy"
account, and the e-mail contained a stack trace showing what happened.

If you ask me, that's pretty impressive. I like the fact that this kind of thing is built into the OS and provides me with the ability to conveniently report a problem, but also collects information a developer can use to actually fix the problem.

I don't remember this kind of stuff in Windows. The last time I crashed something on a Windows machine, it showed me an apology, and asked me if I wanted to send them a list of all the software I own so they could inspect it and decide whether to prosecute me for using my computer improperly. I declined, and the machine exploded.


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