Thursday Mar 05, 2009

Reporting bugs

I figured I'd just write up some quick notes about how to report bugs, if you find them, against Sun Studio. There are various mechanisms.

  • First off, there are formal support channels. These are really for the situations where you need a timely response, or are using an older version.
  • The next place that can be useful are the Sun Studio forums. We do read these, and reply - they are very active. It can be useful to discuss problems here in case anyone has hit the same issue, or if you are uncertain whether the code or the compiler is at fault.
  • There is also a formal bug/rfe reporting service. If the compiler dies with an error, this is a good place to file that. Before reporting a new bug or rfe you should first take a look to see if someone else has already reported it. There's also support for watching the status of bugs, or voting for your top three (although the idea of a favourite bug is a bit disturbing).

In terms of what is useful to include:

  • Platform (chip, system type etc)
  • OS version
  • Compiler version
  • Compiler flags/commandline
  • symptoms etc
  • Call stack [dbx - core; whereami]

If the problem causes the compiler to crash with an error, then to reproduce the problem we'll need the source file. Obviously this depends on your environment and header files etc. To produce a preprocessed source file remove any -o <file.o> from the command line and add -P. -P will produce a preprocessed file <file.i>. Check that compiling <file.i> produces the same error, and submit that with the bug report. Obviously, don't submit files that you don't want anyone else to see!

Well, I hope that you never need this info!

About

Darryl Gove is a senior engineer in the Solaris Studio team, working on optimising applications and benchmarks for current and future processors. He is also the author of the books:
Multicore Application Programming
Solaris Application Programming
The Developer's Edge

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