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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       perlbug - how to submit bug reports on Perl

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       perlbug [ -v ] [ -a address ] [ -s subject ]
       [ -b body | -f inputfile ] [ -F outputfile ]
       [ -r returnaddress ] [ -e editor ]
       [ -c adminaddress | -C ] [ -S ] [ -t ]  [ -d ]  [ -A ]
       [ -h ]

       perlbug [ -v ] [ -r returnaddress ]
        [ -A ] [ -ok | -okay | -nok | -nokay ]

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       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 perlbug@perl.org.  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 this checklist:

       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 perltrap.

           Check in perldiag to see what any Perl error message(s)
 mean.  If message isn't in perldiag, it probably
 isn't generated by Perl.  Consult your operating
           system documentation instead.

           If you are on a non-UNIX platform check also perlport,
           as some features may be unimplemented or work differently.

           Try to study the problem under the Perl debugger, if
           necessary.  See perldebug.

       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.

           Remember also to include the exact error messages, if
           any.  "Perl complained something" is not an exact
           error message.

           If you get a core dump (or equivalent), you may use a
           debugger (dbx, gdb, etc) to produce a stack trace to
           include in the bug report.  NOTE: unless your Perl has
           been compiled with debug info (often -g), the stack
           trace is likely to be somewhat hard to use because it
           will most probably contain only the function names and
           not their arguments.  If possible, recompile your Perl
           with debug info and reproduce the dump and the stack

       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 analyze the problem (to
           the extent you can) 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 cooldude
 counter at perlbug@perl.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 supports it).

       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 perlbug@perl.org.  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).

           Whether you use "perlbug" or send the email manually,
           please make your Subject line informative.  "a bug"
           not informative.  Neither is "perl crashes" nor
           "HELP!!!".  These don't help.  A compact description
           of what's wrong is fine.

       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.

OPTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

       -a      Address to send the report to.  Defaults to perl-

       -A      Don't send a bug received acknowledgement to the
               reply address.  Generally it is only a sensible to
               use this option if you are a perl maintainer
               actively watching perl porters for your message to

       -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.

       -F      File to output the results to instead of sending
               as an email. Useful particularly when running
               perlbug on a machine with no direct internet connection.

       -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

       -okay   As -ok except it will report on older systems.

       -nok    Report unsuccessful build on this system.  Forces
               -C.  Forces and supplies a value for -s, then
               requires you to edit the report and say what went
               wrong.  Alternatively, a prepared report may be
               supplied using -f.  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

       -nokay  As -nok 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

       -t      Test mode.  The target address defaults to perl-

       -v       Include verbose configuration data in the report.

AUTHORS    [Toc]    [Back]

       Kenneth Albanowski (<kjahds@kjahds.com>), subsequently
       doctored by Gurusamy Sarathy (<gsar@activestate.com>), Tom
       Christiansen (<tchrist@perl.com>), Nathan Torkington
       (<gnat@frii.com>), Charles F. Randall (<cfr@pobox.com>),
       Mike Guy (<mjtg@cam.a.uk>), Dominic Dunlop (<domo@computer.org>),
 Hugo van der Sanden (<hv@crypt.org<gt>),
       Jarkko Hietaniemi (<jhi@iki.fi>), Chris Nandor
       (<pudge@pobox.com>), Jon Orwant (<orwant@media.mit.edu>,
       and Richard Foley (<richard@rfi.net>).

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       perl(1), perldebug(1), perldiag(1), perlport(1),
       perltrap(1), diff(1), patch(1), dbx(1), gdb(1)

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

       None known (guess what must have been used to report

perl v5.8.5                 2002-11-06                          5
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