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When should a question be closed as a bug report?

  • Should we only close questions which would actually make valid report on the bug tracker? (and if so, how do we determine if a report would be valid?)

  • Should we close any questions which are definitely bugs, but may have been fixed or archived as TODO (not a valid report for the bug tracker)?

  • Or should we close questions which appear to be written as bug reports, but without enough detail to tell if it's a bug in blender or another issue?

We have had a wide variety of questions closed as bug reports, but may not actually be valid bugs that should be reported on the tracker. Such as:

There's also a few cases where questions which were about issues caused by a bug were closed even though the bug was fixed in a later version (and therefore would not be valid on the tracker), such as this one: https://blender.stackexchange.com/q/7075/599

And some cases where it's not obvious whether or not the behavior is a bug, for instance in this question: Black edges artifacts in renders on edges of geometry?

When should a question be closed as a bug report?

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I think we should only close question as a bug report when there is a high chance that the problem is actually a bug. The users that close it as a bug report should confirm that it is indeed a bug and not a feature or that way it normally would work.

I am not sure how we could close a question for bug report if the bug has been fixed, this would require the person asking the question to use an outdated version of blender. If the question was indeed a bug and is now fixed I think we it does not really matter because now one is going to have the same problem again, hence it will most likely not be accessed again.

Even if a question is written like a bug report it should not just be reported just because it was written in the same format. Only potential bugs should be reported.

A lot of the questions that are referenced could be closed with the reason that they are Hardware questions. This is a more appropriate close reason for questions that are about some sort of technical difficulties.

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    $\begingroup$ It depends on how you define "outdated". Most people probably don't use the development versions, so you could end up with a bug which is "fixed", yet still in the current stable version until the next release (up to three months). $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Mar 1 '14 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think that bug-reporting is inside the scope of this site. $\endgroup$ – Vader Mar 2 '14 at 0:23
  • $\begingroup$ No doubt about that :) The issue is how to handle these without spamming the bug tracker.. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Mar 2 '14 at 7:44
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There are a few different issues here.

Software behaves in a way the user doesn't expect. so they ask why this is.

In some cases its a known/accepted limitation - but sometimes its an error in the code, for many users its hard to know which is which.

Propose:

  • Errors in Blender - Request the user posts to blenders bug tracker (close question).
  • User error (explain what they are doing wrong, or close question - depending on the case).
  • Known limitations - answer AND/OR - point to documentation.

Any bugs in Blender which have been fixed are still bugs and still don't belong in stackexchange, so they should be closed (with a note the bug is fixed).

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    $\begingroup$ In case of user error, wouldn't it be better to answer and explain what the user is doing wrong? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Mar 3 '14 at 0:34
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3, good point. yes - It depends... if they completely misunderstand whats going on... its unlikely to be helpful to others. but if its a common misunderstanding - it could be worth keeping. Updated answer. $\endgroup$ – ideasman42 Jun 4 '15 at 1:59
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Some bugs will inevitably be posted when people don't understand why blender is doing something. The questions that are clearly bug reports could be pointed to the bug tracker if it's been narrowed down to the point it's reportable, or blender artists if it's more vague. In either case a link in the comments would be helpful to anyone with the same issue who finds the question in the future. This would also fix the problem with users using older versions; close it, then add a link to the bug report or release notes showing it was fixed.

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