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In response to someone's post on abiword-user, I started writing what might become a supplement or a "useful" Wikilearn page on the process of submitting bugs and enhancements. Someone else answered the specific question better than I would have, now I'm just keeping this in case I decide to finish at some point in time.

See AboutThesePages.

The following is rough and unfinished.

<quote> Nick,

I can't shed any light on the problem you mentioned.

The developer's do accept suggestions.

Suggestions can be made (and your problem should be reported) on bugzilla. Go to

There are some "norms" or "etiquette" involved, and if you're going to use open source software, you should learn the norms. Some norms may be specific to a specific project (like AbiWord), some are more general.

(I'm not saying you haven't followed the rules, I just thought I'd mention some of them for the benefit of you and others who may read this.)

  • You've already joined the abiword-users list, and asked for help there. That's good.
  • Since nobody seems able to help you (so far), you should think about taking this further.
  • I just went to the AbiWord home page (http://www.abisource.com/), and see several promising links -- under Support I see User's Manual, FAQ, Report a Bug, Get Help. Under Contribute I see Suggest Ideas (and Track Bugs, I'll mention this at the end).
  • Ideally, you should follow these links and at least skim through the material. Assuming you don't find a solution to your problem, you should submit a bug. Go to the Report a Bug link and follow the instructions. (I'm writing this in a rather elementary way for a couple of reasons, one of them is as a test of the web site and instructions -- if those instructions are vague, or following them doesn't work, we'd like that feedback to, especially if you have a suggestion for making it easier.)

Some etiquette about submitting a bug:

  • You should do some searching of existing bugs first so that hopefully you don't submit a duplicate bug. I find the bugzilla search features to be less than perfect and was going to suggest a search using Google, but that doesn't work, so this is something I may try to follow up on. What I usually do is make a "best effort" attempt at a search (try searching on a few logical (to me) keywords, read any "hits" that occur, and if none seem to be a reasonable match, I create a new bug report). (If I'm submitting a bug for a product that I'm not "involved with" somehow (for AbiWord I'm sort of a lurker and wannabee developer), then I may include a statement in my bug report, like "I searched on blah, blah, and blah, and none of the hits seemed to match, so I'm submitting this". IMHO, this plays on the developer's sympathies a little bit -- you made a reasonable effort, but did not read every bug in the database -- the developer should not expect a casual user to read every bug in the database to look for a possible duplicate.
  • Your bug report should be precise including instructions on how to duplicate it (your's looks good to me (without carefully analyzing it). You should (and you have) come up with a short summary or title for the bug, one of the things that will be searched when other people go looking for a duplicate of their bug.

I searched on the following "keywords" in the description: [window extra] (found nothing) and [untitled] found 28 bugs, none seem to match (based on viewing titles, and, in one case, the entire bug report).

Yes you can add duplicates



  • RandyKramer - 23 Jan 2002
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