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By Mihnea Balta
#233173
Hi.

Following is a set of rules which should be considered when reporting problems. The purpose of the rules is to make the problem reports clear and concise so that we can address the issues as quickly and effectively as possible. Here we go:
  • Post one issue per thread. It's easier for us to track problems this way.
  • Always state your system configuration. We need to know which OS and what version of the 3D software you're using. Example: Lightwave 9.2 / XP64.
  • If the problem is easily reproduced, give us a list of steps. Since everybody uses the software in their own way, please tell us exactly which buttons, menus etc. you've used to make sure we manage to reproduce the problem locally.
  • Post a screenshot or rendered image. This is not always needed, e.g. if the plug-in crashes when you press a button there's no reason to send a screenshot of that. However, it can be very helpful if you're reporting a problem with the UI layout, an object which doesn't render as expected etc. Paint arrows, circles or any other markers on the image to show the problem if it's not obvious.
  • Don't say "the old version", state exactly which version you're referring to. When you compare the behavior of the current plug-in with some older version, try to be as specific as possible about the older version. The plug-in has been rewritten from scratch for 1.5, so if you mean the version before the rewrite, say "version 1.1". The first build of the rewritten plug-in was 1.5.5; the third number is important in reports. Use the Plug-in Updates thread if you're unsure about the exact version number.
  • Read the change lists. When we announce a new build we provide a complete list of things that have changed since the previous build. This list can also contain known issues, workarounds etc.
  • (Windows) Send us the crash dump file. If the software crashes, don't close the crash window immediately. Keep it open, go to Start -> Run, type %temp% and hit enter. This will open your temporary directory. Look for a file with the ".dmp" extension. If there are several, sort them by date and pick the newest. Copy this file somewhere so you can send it to us later. You can close the crash window now; the dump file will be automatically deleted from the temporary directory.
  • If you can, send us a scene where the problem occurs. If the problem cannot be easily reproduced in a short sequence of steps, sending the scene or object is by far the most useful thing you can do. We guarantee the confidentiality of your work and will not use it for anything other than debugging the software. We will delete the files as soon as we're done investigating.
  • Report all the cases when the export fails. The general rule is that the plug-in should handle all sorts of objects and geometries, no matter how degenerate. There are limitations, but it should skip the objects that we know we cannot handle; it should never fail the export. If it does, you've found a bug. This is one class of problems where being able to look at the scene is more important for us than anything.
When you need to send files, use my gmail address: mihnea.balta@gmail.com. The gmail attachment size limit is 20 MB, but your outgoing mail server may have an even smaller limit. If your files are too big even after compressing them either split the archive into several parts, or if that's too tedious tell us and we'll make arrangements for FTP space. In some cases where confidentiality is not a concern you could also use a free file hosting service such as http://www.yousendit.com/ .

Thank you,
Mihnea

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