Bug fixing

A bug is an error in the program, that causes the program to behave not as it was intended by the developer. We find and fix most of the bugs ourselves, often before they can appear in any released version. However, some bugs can slip through quality control. If you encounter one of those bugs, here's how you can let us know about it.

Where should I report a bug?

We watch two channels for information about bugs:

  • Our technical support at Help Desk. This is the main source of information about bugs, especially urgent ones. If you'd like this problem solved as soon as possible, use this channel.

    Technical support has the means to investigate any problems directly in your store and offer a solution sooner. If the problem turns out to be caused by a bug, you won’t need to do anything else. Our support specialists will pass the information to the developers and provide you with a solution.
  • The bug tracker at CS-Cart Community Forums. It is best-suited for less urgent problems. Use it when a problem can wait and isn't critical for your business.

    We check reports from the bug-tracker on our own installations, without any third-party add-ons and themes. If we can't reproduce the problem, we may ask you to contact technical support. Issues caused by custom modifications (add-ons, themes, core file changes, etc.) are not considered bugs and should be resolved by the developer of these modifications.

How long does it take to fix a bug?

Once our specialists reproduce a bug, they change its status to Confirmed. The timeframe for fixing a bug after its confirmation may vary depending on the severity of the bug:

  • 45 consecutive days for minor bugs, typos, or tweaks.
  • 3 working days for major bugs.

Within that time we’ll fix the bug and let you know in what version the fix will be released. If possible, we will also tell you how to fix the bug in your version. Usually we provide a brief step-by-step instruction or DIFF files.

How do you measure the severity of a bug?

A bug’s severity is determined by our developers and technical support specialists. Here are some of the criteria:

  • Can the bug be reproduced on a clean CS-Cart or Multi-Vendor installation without custom modifications and third-party add-ons? A good example of clean installation is http://demo.cs-cart.com/ or http://demo.mv.cs-cart.com/
  • Does the bug always occur, or does it occur only with specific settings? Are those settings default?
  • Is the bug related to the core functionality, or to some specific add-on? Is that add-on installed by default?
  • Does the functionality affected by the bug work at all? Can the necessary results be achieved through other means?
  • Is it a vulnerability? Can it be exploited easily? How much damage can it cause?
  • Has the bug been fixed in one of the already released versions of CS-Cart or Multi-Vendor?

As a rule, a problem is considered major when it affects the availability of the store and the ability to place orders or work with them; such a problem occurs to many store owners, and there are no temporary workarounds.

Why does it take this long to fix a bug?

Once a bug is confirmed, it takes us up to 3 working days to fix major bugs and up to 45 consecutive days to fix minor bugs. Here is where this timeframe comes from.

CS-Cart development is split into separate periods (sprints). A sprint lasts 2 weeks. Developers get all their tasks for the sprint on Monday, first week. New tasks aren’t usually assigned to developers until the sprint is over.

This approach allows the developers to focus on their current tasks and prevents them from being distracted by the new tasks that arrive mid-sprint. It’s also easier for supervisors, because they know what will be done by the end of the sprint. This approach is a part of Scrum.

Let’s assume that a bug is confirmed on Tuesday (first week), when the developers already have their tasks. In that case the bug will be assigned to a developer 13 days later, and the developer will have 2 weeks to fix the bug.

So, fixing a bug can take up to 4 weeks (approximately 30 working days). We add 2 more weeks for cases when we have to interact with third parties or when the developer can’t finish the job in time.

Are bugs always fixed in time?

There are rare cases when a minor issue can’t be fixed without significant changes to the code. The changes may affect backward compatibility and store’s behavior, and that can cause trouble for other store owners after they upgrade to the new version.

We treat each of these cases individually. Most probably, we will provide an instruction to fix the problem in your store, but the changes will only be included in a major release (for example, the transition from CS-Cart 4.x.x to CS-Cart 5).