Your bug reports are vital for making Inkscape a robust and capable application. It is an important goal that each Inkscape release be stable, crash-free, and behave itself well. Bug reports from users are the primary means of quality assurance, as we rely on the Open Source principle of "Many Eyes Make Bugs Shallow".
If the bug you report to the bug tracker is not fixed promptly, this may mean developers cannot reproduce it, or cannot understand your description, or are simply too busy with other things. Be persistent. As the original reporter, you are the person most interested in fixing it, so if your first report had no effect, you must not let it drop. There are many things you can do to help push your bug closer to a fix:
- Submit the bug to the tracker. Don't wait for someone else to do it. It's important, otherwise your report will be quickly forgotten. (But check the tracker first, your bug may be already there.)
- Submit complete information: version, platform, locale, steps to reproduce, and sample file(s) and screenshots if appropriate.
- If this is a crash, it's important to submit a backtrace. Use gdb to get a backtrace as follows:
gdb <path to inkscape executable> (gdb) run [parameters (optional)] # Carry out the actions to make the program crash (gdb) btand send us the output. All of this can be done on Windows too, the Windows binary of gdb is available from http://www.mingw.org/download.shtml.
- Windows users can easily do a "time search" by downloading builds from "Development/Compiled Packages/Win32 Builds" link on the download page and finding the first one that doesn't break.
Bug Screenshots and Animations
Making sure the bug report has the required information can be a problem when dealing with a graphical issue. For these you can attach a screenshot or gif animation. These visual resources can really help explain what's going wrong in a bug to the developer.
To make a screenshot you can use your computer's screenshot button on the keyboard or download one of the many screenshot applications that help you make a window, timed or selective screenshot. If you're using a modern Linux distro this should already be available in the accessories category.
To make animated gifs of the problem, you can use LiceCAP. This program allows you to capture multiple frames showing the problem without having to make a full mpg video of it.