Tutorial #2: Report a bug

Hello GitHub!

On the previous article we showed you how you can learn how to inspect the behaviour of your Ubuntu Touch device, by using the Logviewer app to forward your logs to developers. Today we would like to share a very useful Ubuntu Touch feature for reporting bugs to the developers. But first, let us give you a glimpse into the world of a developer.

The UBports development team decided to use one of the most popular and largest platforms for hosting open source projects: GitHub. This platform allows you not only to host your code, but also to manage projects, and build software alongside millions of other developers. It also offers the ability to review the code to improve it, for example by removing bugs and weird code behaviour. All of this comes with an implemented distributed version control system (DVCS), that tracks the history of changes as individuals and teams collaborate on projects.

Contributions and requests on GitHub are organized into repositories, where developers can outline requirements or direction and set expectations for team members. Then, using the GitHub flow, developers simply create a branch to work on updates, commit changes to save them, open a pull request (also called a 'PR' for short) to propose and discuss changes, and merge pull requests once decisions about the final product have been made. Working in repositories keeps development projects organized and protected. Developers are encouraged to fix bugs or create fresh features, without the fear of derailing mainline development efforts.

What is 'Git' anyway?

Git is a distributed version control system designed to track changes to a repository of files. To use Git, developers use specific commands to copy, create, change and combine code. These commands can be executed directly from the command line or by using an application like GitHub Desktop. Git doesn't need a constant connection to a central repository. Developers can work anywhere they want and collaborate asynchronously from any time zone. GitHub, therefore, is really a Git hosting repository for code that developers created on their local PC. 

Code review is done primarily by developers and testers, but ordinary users can contribute as well. This is not as daunting as it might seem at first. You just need to follow the instructions below. Your reward is knowing that you have made a contribution to the world's most revolutionary operating system - Ubuntu Touch!

Everybody is welcome to make Ubuntu Touch successful!

Information sources:

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"Report a bug"

The built-in Ubuntu Touch "Report a bug" feature gives you direct access to the ubports/ubuntu-touch GitHub issue site where it is possible not only to report bugs but also to request new features.  The following are some highlights:

  • it provides direct and immediate reporting from the affected device

  • it allows first-hand information to flow from user to developer which tightens the gap between the two

  • it allows quick and easy sharing of user experiences and expectations, which can help with new developments and updates, and even project direction decisions

  • it is very useful for testers before a new release is launched 


How to access its functions to enjoy the best user experience

a) Settings:

To report a bug you will need your own GitHub account. You can create one just signing in on the GitHub main page: 

b) How to report:

To make it easier to report correctly, and also for developers to read your report, you will find a template in the reporting area, for a feature-request and bug-reports. Determine what category your issue falls under, and delete the template you don't need. You don't need to stick rigidly to the template: if you don't need a heading, remove it. If you think a new section will provide valuable information, add a new heading. 

Before you start reporting, make sure you have the latest Ubuntu Touch version and check if the bug is already reported.  Taking time to do this check before reporting will help save everyone time and keep things cleaner. If you find that a bug report already exists, select the “Add your Reaction” button (it looks like a smiley face) and select the +1 (thumbs up) reaction. This shows that you are also experiencing the bug. If it is missing, please add it by clicking on the "+" symbol  (top right). This will open a new window with an area to complete your report.

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Feature request template:

1) Description of the feature

  • Describe what feature you'd like to see -->

2) Illustrations

  • Are you borrowing ideas from an existing software? Maybe provide a screenshot to illustrate. -->

  • Are you a UI-Designer? Create a nice mock-up to show what it could look like -->

  • Are you hilariously bad at drawing? Ok, then just delete this subsection. --> 

Bug report template:

- Device: (phone model: perhaps Nexus 5)
- Channel: (development, stable)
- Build: (OS build and version: perhaps 15.04 (r3))

1) Steps to reproduce

  • Describe what causes your bug to occur -->

2) Expected behavior

  • Describe what you'd expect to happen -->

3) Actual behavior

  • Describe what actually happens instead -->

4) Log files and additional information, screenshots

Information sources: 

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Any dependencies

  • GitHub account

  • The main purpose/range of this app is specifically to report Ubuntu Touch operating systems related features or bugs

  • To report features and bugs on other components you will need to use your browser or GitHub webapp from OpenStore

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          # GitHub

          Author: The UBports core developers team, Webapp by Rúben Carniero
          Contact: [email protected]
          Category: #Developer Tools
          Where to get it:

          Application details

          First published: 2017/06/11

          Last update: Version: 1.3, 2018.03.18

          What's new in the latest version:

          • Maintenance release: NA

          • Updated translations: NA

          Web address / Source Code: [GitHub]

          Licence: GNU GPL v3

          Permissions: Copyright

          Original language: English

          Translated to: NA

          Alternative apps you could use

          You can access GitHub in your browser or, if you prefer, you could use the unofficial webapp in the OpenStore created by Rúben Carnerio.  You can use it to report features and bugs related to Ubuntu Touch, but It is especially useful and important for bug and feature apps reporting. Please note that not all the apps available for Ubuntu Touch have their repository on GitHub, and they may not even be available on the Internet. Beside GitHub there are other similar sites, such as GitLab and Launchpad, and other services.

          GitHub settings Tips for webapp or browser access:

          You may wish to develop, report or just track. To get the best experience we recommend that you visit the GitHub Documentation sites that we mentioned in the information sources section. For reporting bugs or requesting new features on Ubuntu Touch, we recommend that you follow the tutorial above. We recommend that you select the option: WATCHING, on the top page. This way you will always be notified about all conversations related to the app you are tracking. 

          Another very interesting option that GitHub provides in the ISSUES area, is the MILESTONES tab. Here you should find information about the current development progress and level. 

          Under the CODE tab you will also find the area of RELEASES, which details all the app versions - including beta releases for courageous testers - to date.

            What do you think of this Tutorial?

            Please send your comments and suggestions through the box at the bottom of this blog.

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