Author Topic: Bugs 101  (Read 6073 times)

GuyPerfect

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Bugs 101
« on: May 14, 2010, 07:23:09 PM »
I just got done culling most of the entries in Category:Bugs. Most of the citations were describing things other than bugs, and most of those were converted into simple indented notes in their respective articles.

The types of things that got reported as bugs, but are not, include the following:

  • Many NPCs that are displayed as the wrong classes (Pets displayed as Hero) were marked as bugs.
  • Missions, badges and powers text that are incorrect or incomplete were marked as bugs.
  • Incorrect NPC dialog or emotes were marked as bugs.
  • Many instances where the editor just didn't think things were quite right... were marked as bugs.
  • A handful of Arcane base items requiring a piece of Tech salvage to craft were marked as bugs.
  • One typo was marked as a bug.
.
People seem to be a bit trigger-happy when it comes to naming things as bugs, so I think we should at least formally define what a bug is somewhere for those times when someone is eager to point the finger at something they don't like.

A bug can be defined as a programming error that causes the game to behave in unintended ways. This is different from Vanguard Medal claiming to boost Knockback when in fact it does not. It is also different from a mission in St. Martial that is said to take place in Nerva Archipelago. This is also different from Malaise's name being misspelled as "Maliase."

I'll be keeping an eye on the bugs page in case things pop in from time to time that shouldn't be there.

TonyV

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 08:07:17 PM »
Well, it depends on your perspective.  The dictionary definition of bug (2) is, "an unexpected defect, fault, flaw, or imperfection."  In that sense, a typo is a bug.  Is it "working as intended" that Malaise is spelled "Maliase"?  Well, programmatically maybe, but that's clearly not what the devs intended the game to display.  For the purposes of finding, alerting, and correcting errors, I think that there's really not that much difference between a "bug" in the sense that there's a programming error or a "bug" in the sense that there was human error.  Really, when you think about it, at some level, they're all human errors, whether the typo is in a written description, a line of code, or metaphorically in a programmer's thought process.

SaintNicster

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 09:08:50 PM »
You can file /bug reports for text errors.

EDIT:  Also, there is already a definition for a bug on the wiki.


Aggelakis

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 10:37:06 PM »
I disagree with several of your changes, but don't care enough to get into drama about it.
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Sekoia

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 10:56:20 PM »
Per the wiki, /bug has the following possible categories when you submit it:

Art/Graphics
Mission/Contact
Powers
Team/Supergroup
Invention
Text Error
Suggestion
Other

With the exception of "Suggestion" and possibly "Other", I think anything that would be reportable by /bug is fair game for marking with {{bug}}.

However, I also don't think we should mark every single minor discrepancy in the game with {{bug}}. We should probably only be noting things that are significant enough to have an impact. Put alternately, we should probably only be marking things as {{bug}} that are notable enough that someone will be likely to remember to go remove the tag if/when it gets fixed. "Malaise" spelled as "Maliase" is a good candidate for {{bug}}, but finding a random typo'd "teh" in a mission description probably is not.

TonyV

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 11:46:04 PM »
However, I also don't think we should mark every single minor discrepancy in the game with {{bug}}. We should probably only be noting things that are significant enough to have an impact. Put alternately, we should probably only be marking things as {{bug}} that are notable enough that someone will be likely to remember to go remove the tag if/when it gets fixed. "Malaise" spelled as "Maliase" is a good candidate for {{bug}}, but finding a random typo'd "teh" in a mission description probably is not.

Just for the record, whenever I see a typo in a word in-game, I type the correct word into the wiki unless there's some compelling reason not to (e.g. if the in-game text is ambiguous or confusing enough that I want the player to have a heads-up on it).  If a mission description said something about "Maliase," I'd type it into the article as "Malaise" without tagging it as a bug.  I'd /bug it in-game, but really, I can't think of any relevance that a typo would have to someone coming to the wiki to find information, and doing so could be distracting from the wiki's primary purpose.

Honestly, I thought we were talking about a manually-created list of bugs in the game, sort of a "check here to see if it's been reported before reporting it"-type list.  I just didn't want to get bogged down in the difference between a programming error and a data error.  Sometimes it's not readily obvious which a bug is.  Hey, such-and-such's damage is way off.  Is it because the code calculates the damage incorrectly, or is it because in their data files, someone mistyped a number?  That's the kind of conversation I don't want us to get into.

eabrace

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 11:48:45 PM »
I think the most obvious use of {{bug}} is when the developers state something is not working as intended.  The recent Mending Mitochondria issues would qualify in that category.

We already have a policy in place that says we should fix typos when we see them, so I can't imagine marking those as bugs here.  Yes, they should be submitted as bugs in the game, but they should be fixed here.

In cases where a power states in the in-game text that it has X effect but does not actually do so, I think we should probably mark those with a note, but refrain from actually tagging them with {{bug}} unless/until someone on the development team confirms that the power is not working as intended.

But then, coming from a software development background, the only thing I actually consider a bug is something that actually has to be fixed in the code.  Documentation (i.e. text) errors are not software bugs and fixing them will have no effect on the functionality of the software.  (Minor documentation errors are the lowest priority fixes possible and are seldom actually addressed unless someone just happens to be updating requirements or design in the same document and actually goes out of their way to fix it.) If we were talking about a problem with documented requirements or design, then that would be another matter, but none of that documentation will likely ever see the light of day.  :)
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GuyPerfect

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 12:19:19 AM »
I understand the purpose of the {{bug}} tag to be a way for players to be presented with information that pertains to their ability to play the game. Can a certain mission not be completed? Bug. Is a certain badge not rewarding even when you fulfill its requirements? Bug. Are there Rikti enemies doing the panhandle emote in a Lost mission because of their level? Not a bug.

Case in point:

There's a mission in the Operative Renault Strike Force (Cause distraction for Barracuda) that tells you to "Defeat 20 Longbow." It just so happens that only Longbow in the Agincourt area of Nerva Archipelago count for this objective, and the game never tells you that. One of two things happened:

  • It's an information discrepancy where the player isn't given proper details as to what they need to do
  • It's an improperly authored mission where Agincourt is specified where it shouldn't be
.
Either way, the game's programming is not at fault, because it's following its instructions: only count Longbow on Agincourt.

Whether this was what the mission author meant to do or if they failed to tell the player about it, it's not something that happens in the computer. It happens in your head. This is no different from Mission Architect errors. If the author makes a mistake, don't tag it a bug; the game has absolutely nothing to do with it.

/bug has the following possible categories when you submit it:

Art/Graphics
Mission/Contact
Powers
Team/Supergroup
Invention
Text Error
Suggestion
Other

This makes it obvious that the reporting feature in the game uses "file bug report" as a catch-all for any and every problem encountered in the game. And why shouldn't it be? Should there be one button for bugs, another for graphics errors, another for text errors, etc.? That would be excessive and unnecessary, and for the sake of keeping the interface reasonable and useful, I'd say the way it is probably works best.

Having said that, given its hodgepodge functionality, it's a far cry from something we can use as a definition for what a bug is.

iakona

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 11:04:39 AM »
I suppose the question to ask is, "Does Paragon Wiki exist to describe the game as it SHOULD appear, or as it actually appears in-game?"  If the purpose of the wiki is to compile accurate information about all aspects of gameplay, including those which contain errors (regardless of severity), then the information should not have been deleted from the wiki.

My personal opinion is that the wiki should also function as a tool for players to bring to the developers' attention anything that is obviously an error in the game, be it programming or data entry.  The more exposure these errors get to the public, the more likely they are to be fixed (eventually); conversely, if all reference to the non-programming errors is deleted, the likelihood of them being corrected is at least somewhat diminished.

Sekoia

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2010, 04:08:48 PM »
If a mission description said something about "Maliase," I'd type it into the article as "Malaise" without tagging it as a bug.

The words I used didn't quite convey what I was thinking, so I should probably clarify. I agree with Tony here. What I had in mind in my previous post was that if the AV in a mission has "Maliase" floating over his head, we should probably note that.

Generalizing, anything that would be the name of an article should probably be noted and not secretly fixed. I believe we've had a few misspelled badges, recipes, and IOs that have fallen into that category. They resided at the misspelled article name until they were fixed, if I remember correctly.

Case in point:

There's a mission in the Operative Renault Strike Force (Cause distraction for Barracuda) that tells you to "Defeat 20 Longbow." It just so happens that only Longbow in the Agincourt area of Nerva Archipelago count for this objective, and the game never tells you that. One of two things happened:

  • It's an information discrepancy where the player isn't given proper details as to what they need to do
  • It's an improperly authored mission where Agincourt is specified where it shouldn't be
.
Either way, the game's programming is not at fault, because it's following its instructions: only count Longbow on Agincourt.

Whether this was what the mission author meant to do or if they failed to tell the player about it, it's not something that happens in the computer. It happens in your head. This is no different from Mission Architect errors. If the author makes a mistake, don't tag it a bug; the game has absolutely nothing to do with it.

If they changed this, it would show up in the patch notes as a correction. It isn't unreasonable for us to note it, track it, and them remove the note when it gets fixed.

This feels largely like an argument over semantics to me. Whether we call it a "data bug" or a "text error", the fact remains it's a mistake in the game that people would want to know about. It's also a mistake that should probably be tracked to increase the likelihood that it'll be updated or removed if the devs address the mistake.

If we really, absolutely must not call non-programming errors "bugs", then we should create another template to represent data errors. But honestly, that's not going to help much. The boundary between text and programming can be fuzzy, as Tony points out with his example about damage dealt. Plus, it's adding a complication for editors to keep track of. People won't use the new template consistently. You'll still see {{bug}} getting used because clearly other people think of them as bugs.

I think we should relax a bit. We don't have to be pedantic on what a bug is. Especially since the pedantry is ultimately erroneous since plenty of dictionary definitions of bug would apply even to data errors.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bug
Definition #4: A problem that needs fixing, especially in computing.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bug
Definition #4: Informal. a defect or imperfection, as in a mechanical device, computer program, or plan; glitch: The test flight discovered the bugs in the new plane.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bug
Entry #2, definition #2: an unexpected defect, fault, flaw, or imperfection

http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/bug
Definition 4a: A defect or difficulty, as in a system or design.
Definition 4b: Computer Science A defect in the code or routine of a program.

The last definition is particularly helpful, I think. Guy's clearly coming to this with the domain-specific definition of a bug. However, the game isn't played exclusively by computer scientists and it's inappropriate to constrain words to their computer science jargon meanings. If the ParagonWiki were documenting the code behind the game, that would make sense. But we're documenting a game as played by end users, for end users.

GuyPerfect

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2010, 05:58:16 PM »
I suppose the question to ask is, "Does Paragon Wiki exist to describe the game as it SHOULD appear, or as it actually appears in-game?"  If the purpose of the wiki is to compile accurate information about all aspects of gameplay, including those which contain errors (regardless of severity), then the information should not have been deleted from the wiki.

In most of the cases where I stripped the {{bug}} tag, I converted the text to an indented note containing the same message.

Sometimes, though, the use of {{bug}} was so out-of-place that I deleted it entirely. There was one that said something to the effect of "Despite how much it would make sense, this non-arc mission is not included in Flashback." Is that a bug? Does it affect gameplay? Is it a problem of any kind?

It was an instance of someone freaking out because their sense of perfection was jostled around. We can't afford to have people throwing red flags at every typo, misleading clue, improperly described power, vague badge requirement or perceived violation of common sense. If we did, the Bugs category would be flooded with insignificant errors and it wouldn't be useful to anyone under any circumstances if they wanted to know if there was actually something they should watch out for.


Whether we call it a "data bug" or a "text error", the fact remains it's a mistake in the game that people would want to know about. It's also a mistake that should probably be tracked to increase the likelihood that it'll be updated or removed if the devs address the mistake.

The Longbow example wasn't marked as a bug when I was working yesterday, and I'm not sure I'd add {{bug}} to it at this point, but the discrepancy is already noted on the wiki in an "editor's note." It's plain to see for anyone using the article as a guide for the Strike Force. Does it really need to be called out as a bug?

Like you said, it's something that would show up in the patch notes. If they ever fix it, it's only one Del key away from removing the editor's note.


Guy's clearly coming to this with the domain-specific definition of a bug. However, the game isn't played exclusively by computer scientists and it's inappropriate to constrain words to their computer science jargon meanings. If the ParagonWiki were documenting the code behind the game, that would make sense. But we're documenting a game as played by end users, for end users.

By this logic, we should consider "Google" a verb and not a proper noun. Just because something is popular or commonplace doesn't mean it's correct, and there's no reason 200 million people can't be wrong. Just look at no-carb dieting. If we're going to persist in the idea that "bug" can apply to more than just one thing, then we need to update the wiki's definition of it accordingly. "A bug is an ambiguous and abstract idea that can apply to many things. Use the {{bug}} template according to your religious beliefs and state of mind to describe something that may be perceived in some cultures and eras as a problem with the game."

Point being, it's computer scientists who will be receiving these bug reports, so it's very much in their interest if we give them applicable information. If something needs to be changed in the programming, that's what will be addressed via a bug report. Zen and tai chi notwithstanding.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2010, 06:03:47 PM by GuyPerfect »

iakona

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2010, 06:23:32 PM »
In most of the cases where I stripped the {{bug}} tag, I converted the text to an indented note containing the same message.

Sometimes, though, the use of {{bug}} was so out-of-place that I deleted it entirely. There was one that said something to the effect of "Despite how much it would make sense, this non-arc mission is not included in Flashback." Is that a bug? Does it affect gameplay? Is it a problem of any kind?

It was an instance of someone freaking out because their sense of perfection was jostled around. We can't afford to have people throwing red flags at every typo, misleading clue, improperly described power, vague badge requirement or perceived violation of common sense. If we did, the Bugs category would be flooded with insignificant errors and it wouldn't be useful to anyone under any circumstances if they wanted to know if there was actually something they should watch out for.
So...why not simply change the {{bug}} template to include the severity or category of the bug?  For example, use the same categories as the in-game /bug command.  You could also add a severity rating, from trivial to game-breaking.

By this logic, we should consider "Google" a verb and not a proper noun. Just because something is popular or commonplace doesn't mean it's correct, and there's no reason 200 million people can't be wrong.
Uh, last I checked, something becoming popular or commonplace in language is exactly what makes it correct.  That's kinda the whole reason we have modern English today, instead of still using Old English or any of the thousands of other languages in the history of the world.

Aggelakis

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2010, 06:27:48 PM »
Refrain from strawman arguments and attacks, please, GuyPerfect.

Seriously, "freaking out because their sense of perfection was jostled around"? Adding a bug note means people were freaking out? Since when? Hyperbole doesn't help your side of the argument; it hurts it.
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Zombie Man

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2010, 11:21:28 PM »
In most of the cases where I stripped the {{bug}} tag, I converted the text to an indented note containing the same message.

Well, that's a plus. Information should never be deleted. Re-structured and re-organized, sure, but never simply deleted.


Quote
By this logic, we should consider "Google" a verb and not a proper noun. Just because something is popular or commonplace doesn't mean it's correct, and there's no reason 200 million people can't be wrong. Just look at no-carb dieting. If we're going to persist in the idea that "bug" can apply to more than just one thing, then we need to update the wiki's definition of it accordingly. "A bug is an ambiguous and abstract idea that can apply to many things. Use the {{bug}} template according to your religious beliefs and state of mind to describe something that may be perceived in some cultures and eras as a problem with the game."

That nouns can't be verbified in English (and be both a verb and a noun) is one of the most grammatically incorrect 'grammar rules' that floats around out there. So many of our 'common verbs' were originally nouns used as verbs. You have just demonstrated a 'religious belief' of grammar rules that defies reality.


Quote
Point being, it's computer scientists who will be receiving these bug reports, so it's very much in their interest if we give them applicable information. If something needs to be changed in the programming, that's what will be addressed via a bug report.


As has been noted above, the /bug report for this game includes more than just mechanical problems that reside in the coding. When Arbiter Kim came on board, I pointed her to the /bug report page that listed all the mechanical, scripting, textual, and graphical bugs we've reported on this Wiki. You've now decimated that report. I'd have no problem in separating out the types of bugs/errors with a different template that generated a different report. But now you've made it nearly impossible to list all the mistakes we've been documenting in the game database.

I really would want to see the changes reverted or a new tagging template employed.

Sekoia

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2010, 12:42:20 AM »
In most of the cases where I stripped the {{bug}} tag, I converted the text to an indented note containing the same message.

By doing so, you've only retained half of the functionality that the bug template was providing:
1. It was providing a note in the article indicating that there was a problem. You retained this.
2. It was ensuring that the same information was neatly and automatically summarized at Category:Bugs. By stripping off the template, you've eliminated this.

Having all of those errors located on a single page allows someone to easily scan the list to see if anything was fixed that needs to be updated. Now that you orphaned all of that information, it's much less likely to get updated when it gets fixed.

While I will agree that some of the uses of the {{bug}} template were unnecessary, I think you've done a rather large disservice by stripping many of the instances out.

It was an instance of someone freaking out because their sense of perfection was jostled around.

One could say the same about your response to people's usage of the {{bug}} template. Perhaps, as Agge suggests, you should refrain from making attacks here.

Just because something is popular or commonplace doesn't mean it's correct

That's exactly how "bug" came to mean "error" in the first place. And actually, use of "bug" to describe problems predates computer science. You might be interested in the etymology of "software bug".



So...why not simply change the {{bug}} template to include the severity or category of the bug?  For example, use the same categories as the in-game /bug command.  You could also add a severity rating, from trivial to game-breaking.

If this really is a problem, then Iakona's suggestion seems like a splendid way to resolve it.

TonyV

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2010, 01:50:11 AM »
So...why not simply change the {{bug}} template to include the severity or category of the bug?  For example, use the same categories as the in-game /bug command.  You could also add a severity rating, from trivial to game-breaking.

Surely this is the best way to go?

I do agree with Guy that "This mission should be an Ouroboros mission" isn't a bug.  It's an opinion.  I also agree that stupid stuff shouldn't stand out and distract from the article.  But Sekoia is right; the bug template allowed us to follow up on bugs and automagically generate lists of them, which is a very nice feature.

iakona has a really good suggestion, I think.  Is there any way we can have the default the way we show bugs now, but to have some parameter in the template that could be used to indicate that a bug is minor, so that it shows up as something more like an "Editors Note," or even so inconsequential that it doesn't show up in the article at all, but that it will still be listed on the category page?

Also, I have it on good authority that "google" is, in fact, a verb.  ;)  Seriously!  If you don't believe me, just google it!

Sekoia

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2010, 02:47:57 AM »
Is there any way we can have the default the way we show bugs now, but to have some parameter in the template that could be used to indicate that a bug is minor, so that it shows up as something more like an "Editors Note," or even so inconsequential that it doesn't show up in the article at all, but that it will still be listed on the category page?

Sure, template magic can make all of that happen. I'm not sure we'd want to make it completely invisible, since that could be confusing. But we could definitely create alternate stylings to give it less emphasis in an article.

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2010, 02:42:26 PM »
Sure, template magic can make all of that happen. I'm not sure we'd want to make it completely invisible, since that could be confusing. But we could definitely create alternate stylings to give it less emphasis in an article.
I think for something like a text bug, something small would be best. Pretty much any other bug should be as now, but if we want to have a bug category to point out typos to a dev, I would say I'd rather not be jostled by a bunch of big "BUG!!" boxes for each typo in the game.

For something small like that, something akin to a references section would be nice. At the same time, I don't think the actual references section would be appropriate. I'm not certain what the best solution would be, but a big "BUG!!" box for a minor error like a typo is definitely wrong.

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2010, 04:16:54 PM »
Force citations with use of bugs! lol A forum post, a screen shot of said bug... w/e. Just an idea.
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Aggelakis

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Re: Bugs 101
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2010, 12:20:28 AM »
I would say I'd rather not be jostled by a bunch of big "BUG!!" boxes for each typo in the game.
We do not use {{bug}} for typos (or should not). We fix typos (unless it's in a badge or an item, in which case there should be a ==Notes== section for the misspelling), and if it's egregious enough, we may put a <!-- hidden note --> for it. Misspellings aren't bugs in any way, shape, or form. I don't support going through and hunting down all the misspellings we've already corrected to flag them with {{bug}}. *shudders*

{{bug}} is for when something is wrong with the game. The mission text says it's underneath Nerva, but it sends you to St. Martial? That may not be a PROGRAMMING ERROR, but it's certainly not acting as it should be story-wise. An NPC is labeled "Hero" but has HP that's less than a Boss? That may not be a PROGRAMMING ERROR, but that certainly ain't no Hero, so it shouldn't be labeled such. A certain IO doesn't function? A certain faction spawning (or not spawning) where it should/n't? (Level 30 Lost->Rikti changeup doesn't count, since it's sort of a lore thing that's been hard coded into the game.)

All those are bugs (something is wrong with the game, not necessarily PROGRAMMING ERROR) and warrant a {{bug}} flag.




Force citations with use of bugs! lol A forum post, a screen shot of said bug... w/e. Just an idea.
Uh... why? That's a solution for a problem we aren't having at the moment.
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