We work hard to keep our applications bug-free here at Stick Software, but inevitably, some bugs slip through the cracks, and sometimes one of our applications will do something bad. This page is about how you can report a problem with an application to us, so we can fix the bug for you.
If the bug is a crash, then a crash log is invaluable to debugging the problem, and the first section describes how to get at the crash log that OS X can generate for you. If it is not a crasher, then you can skip those sections. Either way, please see the section at the bottom for a list of other information we'd like to get in a bug report.
If you get a Crash Reporter panel when our app crashes, you can just copy and paste the log from there directly into an email. Otherwise, you can locate the crash report:
- Open Console.app (in /Applications/Utilities/)
- If the list of logs is not visible on the left side of its window, click "Show Log List"
- Click the disclosure triangle to reveal the contents of the "User Diagnostic Reports" category; this seems to be where crash logs wind up these days
- Find the crash report for the relevant Stick Software app
- If you use Mail.app for your email, then either drag the crash report entry to Mail.app, or right-click / control-click on it and select "Mail"
- Otherwise, select "Save a Copy As..." from the File menu, and save the log to your desktop or home directory, and attach it to an email
- In any case, send it to us at our support email address
The description above tells you how to find the crash log file generated by OS X when an application crashes. But in addition to that file, please also send us the following information, in order for your report to be as useful as possible:
- A description of generally what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you actively using the app, or was it just sitting there doing its own thing, maybe even in the background while you used a different app? What windows did you have open? What features had you been using?
- A description of exactly what triggered the crash, if anything. Had you just clicked on something? Just hit a key? Just brought the app to the front, or just hidden it?
- A screenshot of the crash, if possible. If there's nothing much to see, then never mind; but if it showed an alert panel, or displayed something in a window as it crashed, or anything like that, a screenshot could be very helpful. (We don't need a screenshot of OS X's standard "An application unexpectedly quit" panel, however; we know what that one looks like ;->) To take a screenshot, press shift-command-3 and look on your desktop for the file created, or use our Constrictor screenshot utility.
- Reproducibility information. Can you make this happen every time on your machine by following particular steps? If you can try it on another Mac you have access to, that can be very revealing, whether it does or does not also happen on that other machine. If it involves a particular file, sending us a copy of that file would be very helpful (unless the file is very large, like a digital camera raw image file; in that case, please upload it somewhere like Dropbox that we can download it from).
- Console logs. This is in addition to the crash log that we described how to get above. Like crash logs, console logs also come out in Console.app, but instead of coming out in a particular logfile dedicated to the particular application that crashed, they come out in the main logfile, console.log. The console.log window should be visible when you first run Console.app. Scroll to the bottom of the console.log window, select the lines corresponding to a few minutes before the crash occurred through to the present, and copy and paste those lines into the email you send us. These logs may contain background information of problems that led up to the crash, in some cases.
Good crash reports are essential to our ability to deliver quality software to you. If you can take the time to work with us on documenting a problem, it is much more likely that that problem will get fixed. And don't assume that somebody else has already done it; even the most serious bugs usually get reported by only one or two users, so if you don't report it, it may be that nobody will!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have, comments on this page, or other issues, by sending email to our support email address.