How to report a bug

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shortcut: BUGREPORT

These guidelines explain how to write a good bug report or feature request (a task) in Wikimedia's task tracker (see Phabricator for more information). Well-written tasks are more likely to be worked on.


Quick recommendations

  • Be precise
  • Be clear: explain how to reproduce the problem, step by step, so others can reproduce the bug, or understand the request.
  • Include only one problem per task
  • Include any relevant links and examples

Before you do anything

Can you reproduce the issue?

Try to reproduce your bug using a recent version of the software, to see whether it has already been fixed. If the bug is on a wiki site like Wikipedia, you could try testing the latest software version on test2.wikipedia.org.

Has someone else already reported the issue?

Use the search box of Wikimedia's bugtracker to see if your bug has already been reported, or the feature requested. You can also perform more advanced searches on the advanced search page.

If you are unsure whether a bug has already been reported, you should report the bug. It is better to have duplicate bugs than it is to have unreported bugs.

Have you tried fixing the issue yourself?

Some problems are a consequence of using user scripts and gadgets which need some fixes. There is a guide available with steps how you can identify such code, which could fix your issue so that you do not waste your time reporting it.

Reporting a new bug or feature request

If you have faced a bug in a recent version and no one else appears to have reported it, then:

  1. Go to phabricator.wikimedia.org.
  2. You will have to log in (or register) if you have not already done so (see "Creating your account ").
  3. Click the Bookmark button in the upper right corner and choose "Create Task" (or "Report Security issues" to report a security problem ).
  4. Fill out at least the following fields:
    • Title: A short one-sentence summary that explains the problem (not your suggested solution).
      • Good: "Selecting gender is not functional."
      • Bad: "Software crashes."
    • Assigned to: You should ignore this field: Developers will set an assignee when they plan to work on the task.
    • Description: Full details of the issue, giving as much detail as possible. This should include:
      • For bugs:
        • Steps to Reproduce: Minimized, easy-to-follow steps that will trigger the described problem. Include any special setup steps.
          Example:
          1. Go to https://en.wikipedia.org with Internet Explorer version 10.0;
          2. Make sure you are logged in;
          3. Select "My Preferences" menu;
          4. Go to "Gender" and select female gender from box list;
          5. Click "Save" button.
        • Actual Results: What the application did after performing the above steps.
          Example:
          "There is no female gender in front of my user name."
        • Expected Results: What the application should have done, if there was no bug.
          Example:
          "My gender is shown in front of my user name."
      • For feature requests:
        • A description of what you would like to achieve, and why. Explain what you hope the feature will solve (the actual underlying problem) along with specific examples; but do not demand a specific solution, as there might be other/better solutions. A user story is an effective way of conveying this.
          Example:
          "As a new editor, I would like to be acknowledged for my contribution to the project, so that I feel welcomed and valued"
      • Please also provide any other information that might be useful, such as:
        • the web browsers, skins, or computer systems you've seen the bug on;
        • links or diffs to one or more pages where you encountered the bug; or
        • whether the problem appears every time, only occasionally, only on certain pages, or only in specific circumstances.
    • To attach a log file or screenshot (but make sure that no confidential data is included or shown), click the Upload File button (a cloud with an arrow) in the tool bar of the Description field.
    • Select the tags (project(s)) in which you've found the bug:
      • Projects are how developers find tasks to work on. To identify the right project(s), use the search function (in the top right) to find its description.
      • This could be for example the MediaWiki-General-or-Unknown project for the wiki software itself, or Wikimedia-Site-Requests for configuration changes on a Wikimedia site (see "Selecting projects ").
    • Subscribers: If you know specific users who will be interested in getting notified of this task you can add them here. Otherwise, ignore this field.

Check if your report is complete, then press the "Create Task" button. Your report will now be in the database. This allows somebody interested in the report to look at it and potentially work on it .

The priority for the task will be set by developers if they plan to work on the task (see Setting priorities).

That's all! Thanks for your help to improve MediaWiki and Wikimedia projects!

Reporting a JavaScript bug

See also: Help:Locating broken scripts

When you encounter a bug that may be related to JavaScript, do your best to identify error messages and copy them into the bug report.

It's especially important to provide all the information you have, because even the system administrators will have zero access to any error log. If you are unsure whether a feature you are using is based on JavaScript, try disabling JavaScript.

It's always helpful to include a screenshot with your report. It's often the easiest way to identify which feature you're talking about, and can often provide information which can help narrow down the error. Take care to hide any information you don't want to share, like other open browsers tabs or minimised chat windows.

If the problem is in the code of a user script or gadget itself, then Phabricator might not be the place where the problem will get handled.[1] Someone might redirect you to the talk page of the script (if the problematic script is identified).

Reporting a connectivity issue

If you are having difficulties reaching a Wikimedia website at all (slow internet connection etc.), please follow wikitech:Reporting a connectivity issue.

Reporting a login problem

If you are having problems logging into your account, please follow Manual:How to debug/Login problems.

See also

  • phab:T85433 Using Phabricator for gadget-related tasks