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Does Stack Exchange contain any edit suggestion or bug submission system, or such type of discussion forum to inform SO or its administrators about suggestions and bug reports that relate to SO itself?

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This is the place: Meta. – juergen d Jul 10 '13 at 17:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Does SO contains any edit suggestion or bug submission system or such type of discussion forum to inform SO or it's admin panel about suggestions and bug reports that relate to SO itself?

It does. You're on it.

Just post a question tagged for bugs, for feature requests, for support, and for discussions about SO/SE policies.

You can suggest edits to posts by clicking the "edit" link underneath them.

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Here at Stack Overflow, we get a 10/12 on the Joel Test because we don't have an up-to-date schedule or a dedicated team of testers. But the truth is we have an amazing QA team: you. We are very lucky to have so many knowledgeable users who not only report bugs (often within minutes of being introduced) but also vet them. It's impossible to imagine a professional testing team catching many bugs before you do.

Here are some tips for reporting Stack Exchange bugs in a way that improves the odds they will be fixed:

  1. Make sure you aren't looking at an unintuitive feature. At this point, the Stack Exchange system has a lot of strange edge cases that have been solved with obscure rules. Usually, these are informally documented somewhere on this Meta site. Make a good faith effort to understand how the system is supposed to work before posting. Otherwise you risk having your question downvoted or closed as a duplicate. If the anomaly you are looking at really is a bug, this research isn't wasted as long as you include these links in your question.

  2. Blame caching. If you see something strange that was normal the last time you looked, there's a strong possiblity that caching is to blame. Because we believe performance is a feature we cache everything we can get away with. In addition, the architecture of the internet, including your browser, relies on caching information to avoid unnecessary network traffic. Two things you can try before reporting an issue that might be caching-related are waiting an hour or two and testing with a different browser.

  3. Provide a link to the page(s) you see the problem on. Typically the first thing someone will want to do with a bug is try to reproduce it. If you post a screenshot or a description of the page, but no link, it makes it that much easier to ignore the bug report. (Not that we want to ignore them; it's just human nature.) The second thing a developer will likely do is look at the page with the MiniProfiler, so you really want to make it easy to find where you spotted the bug.

  4. Tell us what you saw and what you expected to see. Screenshots are great, but it's often not clear where the problems lies. This, by the way, is a good reason to add a red, freehand circle. If the bug is UI-related, please provide which version browser and operating system you are currently using. Just like asking on Stack Overflow, a good bug report will highlight the difference between expected and observed behavior.

  5. Tell us why the bug matters to you. People often tell us about odd things that don't affect how they use the site. We appreciate those reports, but they are going to be lower priority than bugs that are breaking the site for someone. If your post doesn't clearly demonstrate a negative impact, we tend to assume the problem is cosmetic and not functional. (Again, this isn't something we purposely do; it's human nature.) So if you can articulate exactly what problem the bug causes for you, it increases the odds a fix will be a priority.

  6. Be cautious about proposing a diagnosis or code change. If you have read this far, you are undoubtedly an intelligent and diligent person. I'm pretty sure you know more about developing for modern browsers than I do. File this suggestion in the "unfortunately people" category. Unless you can read the code, your guess about what went wrong and how to fix it is as likely to be laughably wrong as exactly correct. That said, cross referencing your guess with a particular change in the system or a database query can greatly shortcut the debugging process. If you have an idea of how the bug could be fixed, it doesn't hurt to suggest it in an answer so that the community can vote on it independently of the bug report. Remember that the decision is ultimately up to the the developer who fixes the bug.

  7. Add details, not bounties. If you report a bug and it's not getting looked at, the best thing to do, just like on the main site, is to edit in more information. While this meta does allow bounties, it's pretty rare for a developer to take particular notice. If you run into a bug that's already been reported, see if you can add something from the above list with an edit, comment or answer.

Most reports are exceptionally helpful. #5 above tends to be the place most people trip up on. Unconsciously, we assume that a problem we personally experience is universal and self-evident. There's no need to tell us the entire story of how you lost your job due to a text alignment bug. However, if the problem you are reporting has impacted your use of the site, a sentence or two describing the issue will not be amiss.

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While I don't agree with all the points (especially #7, partially #5) this is a good official response, think Shog also posted something somewhere, but surely with less details. Thanks! – Shadow Wizard Oct 6 at 18:49
@ShadowWizard: Thanks. I can guess what you don't agree with (and why), but it might be helpful to be explicit. ;-) – Jon Ericson Oct 6 at 18:58
I just don't want to get into a long comments discussion here, maybe chat is better when I'll have some time later. Care if I'll invite you to a room? – Shadow Wizard Oct 6 at 19:02

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