perlbug



PERLBUG(1)             Perl Programmers Reference Guide             PERLBUG(1)




NAME

       perlbug - how to submit bug reports on Perl


SYNOPSIS

       perlbug [ -v ] [ -a address ] [ -s subject ] [ -b body-f inputfile ]
       [ -F outputfile ] [ -r returnaddress ] [ -e editor ] [ -c adminad-
       dress-C ] [ -S ] [ -t ]  [ -d ]  [ -A ]  [ -h ]

       perlbug [ -v ] [ -r returnaddress ]
        [ -A ] [ -ok-okay-nok-nokay ]


DESCRIPTION

       A program to help generate bug reports about perl or the modules that
       come with it, and mail them.

       If you have found a bug with a non-standard port (one that was not part
       of the standard distribution), a binary distribution, or a non-standard
       module (such as Tk, CGI, etc), then please see the documentation that
       came with that distribution to determine the correct place to report
       bugs.

       "perlbug" is designed to be used interactively. Normally no arguments
       will be needed.  Simply run it, and follow the prompts.

       If you are unable to run perlbug (most likely because you don’t have a
       working setup to send mail that perlbug recognizes), you may have to
       compose your own report, and email it to perlbug@perl.org.  You might
       find the -d option useful to get summary information in that case.

       In any case, when reporting a bug, please make sure you have run
       through this checklist:

       What version of Perl you are running?
           Type "perl -v" at the command line to find out.

       Are you running the latest released version of perl?
           Look at http://www.perl.com/ to find out.  If it is not the latest
           released version, get that one and see whether your bug has been
           fixed.  Note that bug reports about old versions of Perl, espe-
           cially those prior to the 5.0 release, are likely to fall upon deaf
           ears.  You are on your own if you continue to use perl1 .. perl4.

       Are you sure what you have is a bug?
           A significant number of the bug reports we get turn out to be docu-
           mented features in Perl.  Make sure the behavior you are witnessing
           doesn’t fall under that category, by glancing through the documen-
           tation that comes with Perl (we’ll admit this is no mean task,
           given the sheer volume of it all, but at least have a look at the
           sections that seem relevant).

           Be aware of the familiar traps that perl programmers of various
           hues fall into.  See perltrap.

           Check in perldiag to see what any Perl error message(s) mean.  If
           message isn’t in perldiag, it probably isn’t generated by Perl.
           Consult your operating system documentation instead.

           If you are on a non-UNIX platform check also perlport, as some fea-
           tures may be unimplemented or work differently.

           Try to study the problem under the Perl debugger, if necessary.
           See perldebug.

       Do you have a proper test case?
           The easier it is to reproduce your bug, the more likely it will be
           fixed, because if no one can duplicate the problem, no one can fix
           it.  A good test case has most of these attributes: fewest possible
           number of lines; few dependencies on external commands, modules, or
           libraries; runs on most platforms unimpeded; and is self-document-
           ing.

           A good test case is almost always a good candidate to be on the
           perl test suite.  If you have the time, consider making your test
           case so that it will readily fit into the standard test suite.

           Remember also to include the exact error messages, if any.  "Perl
           complained something" is not an exact error message.

           If you get a core dump (or equivalent), you may use a debugger
           (dbx, gdb, etc) to produce a stack trace to include in the bug
           report.  NOTE: unless your Perl has been compiled with debug info
           (often -g), the stack trace is likely to be somewhat hard to use
           because it will most probably contain only the function names and
           not their arguments.  If possible, recompile your Perl with debug
           info and reproduce the dump and the stack trace.

       Can you describe the bug in plain English?
           The easier it is to understand a reproducible bug, the more likely
           it will be fixed.  Anything you can provide by way of insight into
           the problem helps a great deal.  In other words, try to analyze the
           problem (to the extent you can) and report your discoveries.

       Can you fix the bug yourself?
           A bug report which includes a patch to fix it will almost defi-
           nitely be fixed.  Use the "diff" program to generate your patches
           ("diff" is being maintained by the GNU folks as part of the diffu-
           tils package, so you should be able to get it from any of the GNU
           software repositories).  If you do submit a patch, the cool-dude
           counter at perlbug@perl.org will register you as a savior of the
           world.  Your patch may be returned with requests for changes, or
           requests for more detailed explanations about your fix.

           Here are some clues for creating quality patches: Use the -c or -u
           switches to the diff program (to create a so-called context or uni-
           fied diff).  Make sure the patch is not reversed (the first argu-
           ment to diff is typically the original file, the second argument
           your changed file).  Make sure you test your patch by applying it
           with the "patch" program before you send it on its way.  Try to
           follow the same style as the code you are trying to patch.  Make
           sure your patch really does work ("make test", if the thing you’re
           patching supports it).

       Can you use "perlbug" to submit the report?
           perlbug will, amongst other things, ensure your report includes
           crucial information about your version of perl.  If "perlbug" is
           unable to mail your report after you have typed it in, you may have
           to compose the message yourself, add the output produced by "perl-
           bug -d" and email it to perlbug@perl.org.  If, for some reason, you
           cannot run "perlbug" at all on your system, be sure to include the
           entire output produced by running "perl -V" (note the uppercase V).

           Whether you use "perlbug" or send the email manually, please make
           your Subject line informative.  "a bug" not informative.  Neither
           is "perl crashes" nor "HELP!!!".  These don’t help.  A compact
           description of what’s wrong is fine.

       Having done your bit, please be prepared to wait, to be told the bug is
       in your code, or even to get no reply at all.  The Perl maintainers are
       busy folks, so if your problem is a small one or if it is difficult to
       understand or already known, they may not respond with a personal
       reply.  If it is important to you that your bug be fixed, do monitor
       the "Changes" file in any development releases since the time you sub-
       mitted the bug, and encourage the maintainers with kind words (but
       never any flames!).  Feel free to resend your bug report if the next
       released version of perl comes out and your bug is still present.


OPTIONS

       -a      Address to send the report to.  Defaults to perlbug@perl.org.

       -A      Don’t send a bug received acknowledgement to the reply address.
               Generally it is only a sensible to use this option if you are a
               perl maintainer actively watching perl porters for your message
               to arrive.

       -b      Body of the report.  If not included on the command line, or in
               a file with -f, you will get a chance to edit the message.

       -C      Don’t send copy to administrator.

       -c      Address to send copy of report to.  Defaults to the address of
               the local perl administrator (recorded when perl was built).

       -d      Data mode (the default if you redirect or pipe output).  This
               prints out your configuration data, without mailing anything.
               You can use this with -v to get more complete data.

       -e      Editor to use.

       -f      File containing the body of the report.  Use this to quickly
               send a prepared message.

       -F      File to output the results to instead of sending as an email.
               Useful particularly when running perlbug on a machine with no
               direct internet connection.

       -h      Prints a brief summary of the options.

       -ok     Report successful build on this system to perl porters. Forces
               -S and -C. Forces and supplies values for -s and -b. Only
               prompts for a return address if it cannot guess it (for use
               with make). Honors return address specified with -r.  You can
               use this with -v to get more complete data.   Only makes a
               report if this system is less than 60 days old.

       -okay   As -ok except it will report on older systems.

       -nok    Report unsuccessful build on this system.  Forces -C.  Forces
               and supplies a value for -s, then requires you to edit the
               report and say what went wrong.  Alternatively, a prepared
               report may be supplied using -f.  Only prompts for a return
               address if it cannot guess it (for use with make). Honors
               return address specified with -r.  You can use this with -v to
               get more complete data.  Only makes a report if this system is
               less than 60 days old.

       -nokay  As -nok except it will report on older systems.

       -r      Your return address.  The program will ask you to confirm its
               default if you don’t use this option.

       -S      Send without asking for confirmation.

       -s      Subject to include with the message.  You will be prompted if
               you don’t supply one on the command line.

       -t      Test mode.  The target address defaults to perl-
               bug-test@perl.org.

       -v      Include verbose configuration data in the report.


AUTHORS

       Kenneth Albanowski (<kjahds@kjahds.com>), subsequently doctored by
       Gurusamy Sarathy (<gsar@activestate.com>), Tom Christiansen
       (<tchrist@perl.com>), Nathan Torkington (<gnat@frii.com>), Charles F.
       Randall (<cfr@pobox.com>), Mike Guy (<mjtg@cam.a.uk>), Dominic Dunlop
       (<domo@computer.org>), Hugo van der Sanden (<hv@crypt.org<gt>), Jarkko
       Hietaniemi (<jhi@iki.fi>), Chris Nandor (<pudge@pobox.com>), Jon Orwant
       (<orwant@media.mit.edu>, and Richard Foley (<richard@rfi.net>).


SEE ALSO

       perl(1), perldebug(1), perldiag(1), perlport(1), perltrap(1), diff(1),
       patch(1), dbx(1), gdb(1)


BUGS

       None known (guess what must have been used to report them?)



perl v5.8.6                       2005-12-14                        PERLBUG(1)

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