What Makes a Good Bug Report?

TitleWhat Makes a Good Bug Report?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsZimmermann, Thomas, Premraj Rahul, Bettenburg Nicolas, Just Sascha, Schroter Adrian, and Weiss Cathrin
Secondary TitleIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Place PublishedLos Alamitos, CA, USA
ISSN Number0098-5589
Keywordsbug report, Survey

In software development, bug reports provide crucial information to developers. However, these reports widely differ in their quality. We conducted a survey among developers and users of APACHE, ECLIPSE, and MOZILLA to find out what makes a good bug report.
The analysis of the 466 responses revealed an information mis- match between what developers need and what users supply. Most developers consider steps to reproduce, stack traces, and test cases as helpful, which are at the same time most difficult to provide for users. Such insight is helpful to design new bug tracking tools that guide users at collecting and providing more helpful information.
Our CUEZILLA prototype is such a tool and measures the quality of new bug reports; it also recommends which elements should be added to improve the quality. We trained CUEZILLA on a sample of 289 bug reports, rated by developers as part of the survey. In our experiments, CUEZILLA was able to predict the quality of 31–48% of bug reports accurately.


"o find out which matter most, we asked 872 devel-
opers from the APACHE, ECLIPSE, and MOZILLA projects to:
1. Complete a survey on important information in bug reports and the problems they faced with them. We received a total of 156 responses to our survey (Section 2 and 3).
2. Rate the quality of bug reports from very poor to very good on a five-point Likert scale [22]. We received a total of 1,186 votes for 289 randomly selected bug reports (Section 4).
In addition, we asked 1,354 reporters1 from the same projects to complete a similar survey, out of which 310 responded. "

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