Reporting Software Errors in Koha to ByWater Support
Help ByWater help you! Sometimes an error stops you dead in your tracks. When this happens it's important to note the when, where, and what so the ByWater Support team can more quickly solve the problem!
Sometimes library staff and Koha have a difference in opinion of what's possible in this reality and that's when you'll see an Error Message! Error Messages, love them or hate them -- they're actually here to help. There are 500 or "Something went wrong." errors (see above), and there's "Internal Server Error", and there are the Software Errors.
Software Errors in Koha come packed with information about what caused the error. In some ways, these errors are easier to deal with because they typically give a pointer to the exact line in the program where the software failed. In other ways, they require more care and explanation because the error screen contains no context about what you as a user were doing when the error occurred.
A typical software error looks something like this:
What it doesn't tell you is what you were doing just before the error occurred. Likewise, the Internal Server Error and 500 Error are fairly vague on the details. That is where we need your help!
When you send us a ticket about a software error, please include the when, where, and what:
When: The time (and date) of the error will allow us to check our Server Side logs.
Where: Give us not just the URL of the error message, but also the URL of the page you were on prior to triggering the error. This will help us recreate the error.
What: Tell us what you were doing. Take screenshots of the error and the page prior to the error and capture the whole web page. A screenshot of just the error message elimitates context critical to a support investigation. If you were a prime time CSI TV investigator you wouldn't clean the special effects blood off of the weapon, bring it back to HQ, and then announce to the audience you found some evidence!
Noting the data that caused the error is especially important: If the error occurred in Acquisitions, we need to know which vendor, basket, basket group, invoice and order were involved. If the software error happened in Serials, we need to know which subscription, serial, and issue were involved. With Holds or Circulation, we need to know the patron, biblio, and item information.
Read more by Margaret Hade