Bug reports

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Bug reports are welcomed by the Gnash devs and can greatly help improving Gnash. These guidelines are intended to help you submit the most useful report possible.


Where to submit bugs

Please submit bugs at https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=gnash. If you have a Savannah account you can be informed of follow-ups by email.

Good habits

  1. Please either always include the URL of the movie with a bug (File->Properties from the context menu will tell you) or at the very least the URL of the webpage containing the movie or attach a copy of the movie to the bug report.
  2. A focused description of a single problem is useful, as we can produce a testcase and fix that bug.
  3. Brief details of your OS, hardware and Gnash version are helpful.
  4. A bug report against a recent version of Gnash, preferably trunk, is essential. 0.8.4 is definitely too old and is unsupported. 0.8.5 is also old, but since it's our latest release at the moment we can't really complain.
  5. Please check the debug output of Gnash for any ERROR or UNIMPLEMENTED messages and include any that seem important. Short logs or sections of logs can be attached to the bug report as a file. See producing debug logs for more information.
  6. To start with, a verbosity level of 2 (debug) is useful. Do not turn on ActionScript errors or malformed SWF reporting for submitted logs unless you are completely sure it's relevant, because this makes the logs very hard to read and is rarely useful for debugging.

Specific reports like this are good:

The video flickers.
The shape on the right is distorted.
The monster doesn't appear.
The movie stops at the loading screen.

If you can tell us exactly why, it is still better!

Bad habits

Reports like this are rarely helpful:

I visited this site and it didn't work.

This is why:

  1. A website may have several SWFs on it and we don't know which one you're talking about.
  2. We don't necessarily know what's wrong with a movie unless you tell us what it's supposed to do.
  3. A single SWF may have many problems. Gnash does not officially support SWF8 and SWF9, so a bug report for these saying "this SWF doesn't work" is the same as saying "Gnash isn't finished yet".

A bug report on any movie (including SWF8 and SWF9) that identifies a single problem is useful, as efforts can be targeted to fixing that problem. Unfocused bug reports don't tell us anything we don't know already.

Producing debug logs

It is possible to turn on logging from the GTK and KDE4 GUIs. Under Edit->Preferences select 'Write log to disk' and enter the path where you would like to save the log file. Turn verbosity to at least 2 to get debug messages.

To do this manually, edit the file ~/.gnashrc, adding the lines 'set writelog on' and 'set verbosity 2'.

When run from the command line, use the flag -vv to get debug messages.

In order to play SWFs in standalone Gnash that you've seen in the web browser, export GNASH_OPTIONS=writelauncher, start the browser, and look amongst /tmp/gnash-debug-?.sh for the correct commandline.

Linking to Bug Reports from the Wiki

See Linking to Bug Reports.