perlbug - how to submit bug reports on Perl
perlbug [ -v ] [ -a address ] [ -s subject ] [ -b body | -f file ]
[ -r returnaddress ] [ -e editor ] [ -c adminaddress | -C ] [ -S ] [ -t ]
[ -d ] [ -h ]
perlbug [ -v ] [ -r returnaddress ] [ -ok | okay ]
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
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 email@example.com. 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
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, especially
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
documented features in perl. Make sure the behavior you are
witnessing doesn't fall under that category, by glancing through the
documentation 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 the perltrap manpage.
Try to study the problem under the perl debugger, if necessary. See
the perldebug manpage.
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-documenting.
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.
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 analyse the
problem to the extent you feel qualified and report your discoveries.
Can you fix the bug yourself?
A bug report which includes a patch to fix it will almost definitely
be fixed. Use the diff program to generate your patches (diff is
being maintained by the GNU folks as part of the diffutils 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
firstname.lastname@example.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
unified diff). Make sure the patch is not reversed (the first
argument 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
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 perlbug -d
and email it to email@example.com. 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).
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 submitted 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.
-a Address to send the report to. Defaults to `firstname.lastname@example.org'.
-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.
-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.
-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 `email@example.com'.
-v Include verbose configuration data in the report.
Kenneth Albanowski (<firstname.lastname@example.org>), subsequently doctored by
Gurusamy Sarathy (<email@example.com>), Tom Christiansen
(<firstname.lastname@example.org>), Nathan Torkington (<email@example.com>), Charles F.
Randall (<firstname.lastname@example.org>) and Mike Guy (<email@example.com>).
perl(1), perldebug(1), perltrap(1), diff(1), patch(1)
None known (guess what must have been used to report them?)
PPPPaaaaggggeeee 4444 [ Back ]