This FAQ covers the recommended procedure for reporting a bug. It applies to all King Stairs Software products, but could easily be generalized for all software products.
Is it Really a Bug?
The first thing that needs to be ascertained is whether the behavior you are seeing is a bug or just the way the program (or Windows) is supposed to work (or somewhere in-between). The documentation is the primary reference for the application and should hopefully provide some clues. Also check out the Frequently Asked Questions for the application, which may contain documentation amendments.
If the behavior is documented, but you really think it should be changed/improved, then you should submit an Enhancement Request.
Has it Already Been Reported?
Check to see if your problem has been listed as a known bug on the Known Bugs list for the application. If the problem is listed, there may be a documented workaround to help you.
Are You Using the Current Release?
Make sure you are using the most current release of the application, as your problem may be fixed in a more recent release, and because a bug report may not be accepted for older releases.
Can it be Reproduced?
This is extremely important: If a problem cannot be reliably reproduced (preferably at will), then it becomes much more difficult to track down and fix. If it can be reproduced, then you should make note of the exact steps needed to reproduce the problem – a recipe if you will; a recipe makes it easier for us to reproduce the problem and then verify any fix.
Recent versions of Microsoft Windows are very reliable, but still need to be rebooted every now and again. From experience, we know that rebooting the computer frequently “clears” problems.
Disable System Utilities
Anti-virus and other anti-malware utilities are an increasing problem for software developers, as they frequently flag software as being infected with some virus or spyware when in fact they are not (a “false positive”).
In a number of cases, we have seen firewalls and anti-virus scanners interfere with our products, causing crashes or errors. These are not errors in our software.
We recommend that you temporarily disable all system-level utilities to verify that there is no conflict. If you disable/disconnect your Internet connection first, your system should not be in danger while the utilities are disabled.
Collect System Information
Information about your computer is essential to help reproduce the problem and to identify possible causes for the problem. Most King Stairs Software applications have a Help|System Info command which collects information about your system. If your application does not have such a command (or you cannot access it for some reason), here is a list of the information that would be helpful (and easy to find out):
- Windows Version (Including any service packs) – the Explorer Help|About command displays this information
- Computer Memory
- Which version of Internet Explorer is installed (if any)
- What applications are installed, especially system-level applications such as anti-virus software
Report the Bug!
Now you are ready to report a problem: Go to the Feedback Form and select the category Bug/Fault Report.