The Art of Suggestion (or, How to get your name in CHANGES)

Submitted by javelin on Thu, 2002-12-12 21:12

If you read the PennMUSH CHANGES file (or 'help changes' within a MUSH), you might have noticed that most lines include something like "Reported by " or "Suggested by ". Would you like to get your name in there? Here's a few tips on how to report a bug or make a suggestion in order to maximize your chances of gaining fame and fortune (well, at least getting into CHANGES):

  • Email bug reports and features suggestions to (or This is the One True Place to send these reports, and if you just chat with Javelin on M*U*S*H, he'll tell you email there (and if you email Javelin personally, he'll often bounce the message there). These addresses are connected to the devteam's Jitterbug database, which means that your report will get a tracking number (for followups), will get seen by all the developers, and won't get lost in Javelin's mailbox. You can also submit via the web at
  • Don't worry about whether it may be a silly or redundant idea. We don't mind getting reports, really. If someone else has reported it, or suggested it, or if there's a reason the devteam doesn't want to do it, we'll write back and tell you.
  • Always report the following:
    1. Your PennMUSH version/patchlevel
    2. Your operating system and version
    3. Whether you have added anything to your hardcode
  • Be specific about what causes the bug, and whether you can reproduce it reliably. Give the exact MUSHcode you type to get the bug, and show the exact output from your MUSH.
  • Explain why the bug is a bug, or why your suggestion would be a good idea. For example, explain that the behavior doesn't match the help. For suggestions, give an example of something that would be easier or better if your suggestion were adopted.
  • If you can provide a patch that implements your suggestion, do so. If you do a great patch, it's much easier for us to just go ahead and add it. If you do a good patch but not in the way we would do it, it still speeds things up for us.
  • When making suggestions/reports, make one at a time. It's better to send two small reports than one report that covers two different things. We find it easier to address and track distinct reports. Similarly, prefer to send small patches for one feature at a time rather than big patch collections.

PennMUSH's user community is a vital asset to its continued development and refinement. If you have any other suggestions for people, do comment on this article!