Frequently Asked Questions in Bug Reports – Technical Report

by Silvia Breu, Rahul Premraj, Jonathan Sillito, Thomas Zimmermann

Bug tracking systems play a central role in software development since they allow users and developers to submit and discuss bugs and new features. To better understand information and communication needs in bug tracking, we analysed what questions are asked in bug reports. We sampled 600 bug reports from the MOZILLA and ECLIPSE projects and located 947 questions in the reports. Next, we used an open card sort and identified eight categories of questions, which can further be broken down into forty groups. We show the value of this catalogue of frequently asked questions with a large quantitative and qualitative study on when questions are asked and how they are answered. A consequence of our results is that constant user involvement is crucial for successful bug reports and that better tools are needed to support this.

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Reference

Silvia Breu, Rahul Premraj, Jonathan Sillito, Thomas Zimmermann. Frequently Asked Questions in Bug Reports. Technical Report, March 2009.

BibTeX Entry

@techreport{breu-tr-2009,
    title = "Frequently Asked Questions in Bug Reports",
    author = "Silvia Breu and Rahul Premraj and Jonathan Sillito and Thomas Zimmermann",
    year = "2009",
    month = "March",
    institution = "Department of Computer Science. University of Calgary",
    number = "2009-924-03",
}