Thank You SteemIt & Steem Devs for Fixing a Tricky Issue Quickly + How to Report an Issue

A note to readers of my bryangmyrek.com blog. This post is about the SteemIt.com social network which is based on the Steem blockchain. I have been active on this community for a couple of months and am excited about it’s future. When I notice issues like the one discussed in this post I like to bring them up, but I still really like SteemIt and hope you will check it out. You can even read this post on SteemIt. Please email me at bryangmyrekcom@gmail.com if you do and let me know so I can ‘Follow’ you on SteemIt.

First, I want to say thank you to the developers (especially @proskynneo and @roadscape) for fixing the bug I reported yesterday so quickly. Thank you! Here’s a video of Steve Ballmer because I just can’t get that excited (yes, he’s why Microsoft can’t have nice things).

As you probably know, a lot happened yesterday in SteemIt land with software updates.
As a professional software developer, I know what it’s like. When you’re pushing out big changes, it’s crazy. Especially if you are pushing them to a site with a lot of fanatical users.

So, when I saw that my feed was not loading I tried to follow the DON’T PANIC logic which Douglas Adams shared with the universe.

Basically, if you went to my blog, the feed (and follow link) would not load – there was a spinning icon ‘forever’. Other people’s blogs seemed to work ok. Some time went by and it was still happening, so I tried different browsers. It still happened. I asked friends to check on it (thanks @klye and @claudiop63 for checking) and it was happening for them too. At this point I figured it was a real issue, plus I probably wasn’t the only one being affected.

So I figured I should at least make sure the devs know this is an issue and it has been verified by someone who knows what a real issue is (vs e.g. a problem with one’s own browser).

The first thing I did was head to the steemitwebsite channel on Steemit.chat. I posted in there but got no “traction” which didn’t really surprise me since I know the devs are crazy busy on a push day. However, someone had posted in that channel that GitHub.com was the best place to report issues. I have a GitHub.com account so figured it was issue posting time.

I went to GitHub.com, logged in, and headed to https://github.com/steemit/steemit.com/issues

credit: this has been around forever. now stack trace or GTFO!It turned out the root cause of the issue was in the Steem code (the back end code behind SteemIt), so they opened a new bug in there and were nice enough to tell me about it.

This is what it looks like when they are done fixing stuff.

Remember to say thank you! These heroes probably don’t get thanked enough.

How to Report an Issue

The Anatomy of a Small Scale Hypertextual Bug Report

(For non-super-nerds that was a reference to the title of Google’s “whitepaper” The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine (stanford.edu). Fun fact – Stanford made hundreds of millions of dollars on Google.).

Here’s what my issue report looks like (don’t use the word “Bug” if you can avoid it – developers can take it personally when something which is not a bug is described as one).

How to Post a Bug Without Wasting Dev’s Time

Time is precious to developers. People want us to create things which have never been made before, and they want it yesterday. Plus, they want us to fix the bugs in all of the stuff they wanted on all of those past yesterdays. It’s often a thankless job. Devs might get mad/frustrated/hulk rage/never-listen-to-you-again if you post a “Bug” which is actually the result of your cat sitting on your space bar. Here are some steps you can use to help Steem/SteemIt by submitting Bugs, without bringing down the fires of rage from devs upon you.

image credit: i made this - it's a meme so ... you know, relax.(Most wizards try to be kind, and they certainly were to me. If they sense you didn’t put in the time to check that this is a real bug though … watch out.)

  1. Have a friend (or, pick a random person on steemit.chat) check into the issue to make sure it’s not just you.
  2. If you have no idea what you’re doing, find someone who does before pinging a major dev (poke around on Steemit.Chat).
  3. If you don’t know anything about submitting issues on GitHub, find someone who does or try very hard to do it right. The last thing devs need is crappy non-bug-non-issue reports in their queue.
  4. OK, you’re gonna do it. Good on you! I think if you try to do it right devs will be happy to see that you’re trying to help so don’t be too afraid.
  5. It is time. Sign in to GitHub or create a new GitHub account.
  6. Head to https://github.com/steemit/steemit.com/issues.
  7. Search for related issues and/or read all recent issue reports.
  8. This is also a good time to see what a good issue report looks like based on the devs reactions to existing issues.
  9. See the “Feed does not load” issue image above. Follow the advice there. Rewriting it here too:
  10. Click “New Issue”
  11. Pick a descriptive, non-emotional title (e.g. “Feed does not load”, not “WTF, My Farging FEED IS NOT LOADING – I AM LOSING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER SECOND – WHAT IS WRONG YOU?!”
  12. Be nice.
  13. Say Thanks.
  14. Describe in as much detail as you can what the problem is. Include relevant details but do not add a bunch of fluff which is probably a waste of the devs time to read. They don’t have time to care that you just made an awesome post and that this “bug” as you call it is harshing your buzz.
  15. Include screenshots, ideas, etc. Screenshots and any relevant error messages are almost always helpful.
  16. If you fancy yourself a developer of any kind, take this time to poke at the code a bit and see if you can find anything relevant. You might not, but if you do find anything it could really speed up how long it takes for the devs to fix your bug (they have a lot to do, and probably not as much time as you do to poke at it). Learn how to use the Google Chrome developer tools for example: https://developer.chrome.com/devtools
  17. Be patient. This might take a while.
  18. If necessary, provide more information.
  19. The devs may need to have a wizard battle to sort out if this is a real issue or not. Please hold.
  20. When they fix your bug, say thank you.

Image credits: Check the alt tags. Also, no one really cares where memes come from, or where they go when they die.

Simulposting: This post was simulcast (or, as I like to call it, simulposted(TM)) on my SteemIt Blog.

About the Author

Bryan Gmyrek is a full time software developer and lives in sunny Arizona with his beautiful wife, three sons and two golden puppies. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Arizona based on the particle physics research he did at the world famous DZero Experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He has been online since 1993, into cryptocurrencies since 2013, won prizes at three Bitcoin hackathons, and co-organizes the highly technical Blockchain Meetup in Phoenix Arizona for over a year. Many of his videos are popular on YouTube, including his recent SteemIt technical talk. He also blogs about nature photography, dogs, national parks and hiking. Pay no attention to that Tardis. Read more in my top 50 introduceyourself post

Join My Newsletter

Email “decentralize all the tacos” to bryangmyrekcom@gmail.com to join my
new newsletter about decentralized technologies, programming,
nature, and more.

 

Follow me
@nonlinearone

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s