A reminder: bug reports are a blessing

I frequently help people (often new users) troubleshoot Blender problems. Recently, I encouraged a user to make a bug report for an issue that was pretty clearly (to my mind) a bug with Blender. I asked that user to link the report, writing, “You might need an advocate.” Sure enough, the bug report was evaluated inappropriately to begin with, closed early until I said something, and eventually recognized as a bug. I think the person reporting probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to insist, even though he or she would have been right to do so.

This situation made me realize something of which I previously wasn’t quite conscious: I’ve been avoiding writing bug reports, and part of the reason is that it so frequently feels like a fight to get the bug taken seriously.

When I encounter a bug, I have two options. One is to make a mental note of it, so I won’t get surprised next time, and just keep on working on my project. The other option is, open a new file, disable all addons, reset to factory defaults, create the bug perfectly reproducibly, download the latest beta/alpha builds of Blender and reproduce there, spend some time figuring out work arounds, post a bug report-- and then, frequently, defend it. There is no benefit; I don’t expect a bug report to lead to a fix before I’m done with the project where I encountered the bug. I make bug reports, and put work into them, because as somebody who’s done some amateur development, I recognize that bug reports are a good thing. Even too many bug reports are a good thing (the bugs themselves aren’t good, but the reports are) because each report can shed light on other bugs that are seemingly unrelated, and each report gives a place for users to go to make sure they’re not crazy or doing it wrong, and a place to share workarounds.

I also understand, of course, that Blender users aren’t always beautiful shining people, and it strikes me that they probably tend to be at their worst right after encountering a bug or a not-actually-a-bug: they’ve just spent a decent chunk of time deeply frustrated with some problem. I imagine it’s hard to deal with everyone, good and bad, day in and day out, and I don’t expect Blender developers to always be in a good mood themselves. I just want to remind you that bug reporters are unpaid people, volunteering their time in order to improve Blender, because they love it, and because they want to help. They’re not the enemy.

And if any devs, including people fixing bugs and handling bug reports, need a little recognition of their work too, I love Blender. Thank you so much for the work you do making it great.


We are thousands (bug reporters), they are just a few (developers). So it is better us making some effort when reporting bugs and provide all the necessary information/files.

If T73051 is the case you refer, then yes you’re right, @sybren have closed the task prematurely without being sure. But he also keep up with your warning and reopened it. So let’s accept that developers are human beings and can make mistakes. :upside_down_face:


Some bugs are fixed mere hours after reporting.

That’s incorrect, though. If people have something to add to an existing report to shed some light on it, that’s great. But please don’t promote filing separate reports about something that has already been reported. As a developer it’s not nice to see a report, spend time on it, only to find that it was something that was reported before and currently being fixed by a different developer.

This is the proper approach, yes. It helps developers tremendously if this work has been done by the reporter.

This is also true of some of the developers. And even when they are paid, what do you want that money to be spent on? On digging through people’s production files that are often complex and depend on add-ons we don’t know? Or do you want it to be spent on actually fixing bugs and implementing new features?

Yes, let’s. Also let’s accept that bug reporters aren’t perfect either (T73051 used an approach that’s explicitly mentioned as unsupported in the Blender manual).

Also a reminder: getting Blender for free is also a blessing.


To be clear, I agree completely, totally. I hope that nothing I said indicated that I had any disrespect for all of the hard work many people put into Blender. I love Blender.

It was not my intention that this post be linked to any particular issue. I would have preferred that not to have happened, because it makes it targeted, and that’s not what I want. The story that I told was about how I became conscious of the fact that I’ve been making fewer bug reports than I would feel great about.

What I’m saying is, I’m making fewer bug reports because it consistently feels like a fight. Making bug reports is already something that involves going out of my way, and feeling like I have to approach bug reports like a fight, or being defensive from the get-go, is the bridge-too-far for me. I don’t believe that I’m so weird that there aren’t other people who feel the same.

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Ofc you’re not alone. Same goes for feedback/suggestions/requests, it’s always a fight, unfortunately. And that’s the reason less and less people care about giving those.

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That’s not good. I also don’t think this is a situation that anyone wants. Please know that every well-described bug report is welcome.

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Few weeks ago I talked about that with developers, they don’t appear to understand the work behind the bug reports for users and that responses that they uses are not good.

Same for feedback

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Well, I’m a developer, and I think I understand pretty well how much work it is to do a good bug report. A lot of work goes into figuring out how to reproduce a bug reliably, and to figure out the minimal number of steps & ingredients in the blend file to get there. This is a lot of work, even when, as the person experiencing the bug,

  • you know your blend file inside out, because you created it (or at least worked with it),
  • you know which add-ons you’re using, because you installed/enabled them,
  • you know what’s going wrong, because you experience it yourself.

Now ask yourself: how much more work would it be to do the same digging to reproduce the bug reliably, and to figure out the minimal number of steps & ingredients in the blend file to get there, when you do not have all that knowledge? This is the position that I as a developer find myself in a lot.

Just to give an example, here is the dependency graph of a highly simplified blend file that just contains those components required to reproduce a problem. I don’t expect anyone to understand the details of this graph, but I’m sure you’ll understand this is already not that simple:

I asked Blender to construct a similar image for the file that was originally attached to the report as example, and after around 45 minutes of crunching the CPU to draw all the relations it produced a 209 megapixel image (click on it to see the entire thing, still scaled down):

This is just an illustration of the impact of having a stripped-down, simplified example. I hope it motivates people to help the developers by simplifying things :slight_smile: