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Resolving Bug Reports (by Randy Stimpson)
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To keep the bug report life-cycle simple, use a resolution field to specify how problems are resolved. Possible resolutions include: Fixed, Won't Fix, Not Reproducible, Duplicate, By Design and External.

Fixed -- the bug was fixed by a modification to source code.

Won't Fix -- a decision was made not to fix the bug. This is a good way to handle trivial bugs which would be too expensive to fix. It also handles new feature requests reported as bugs which won't be implemented.

Not Reproducible  --  the bug can't be reproduced. This can happen when insufficient information is provided to reproduce the bug, or if the bug was already fixed. By resolving it, it will go back to the tester for verification. If the bug still exists, the tester can fail it and provide better reproduction steps.

Duplicate  --  the bug has already been reported. However, make sure you don't resolve both bugs as duplicate 8^).

By Design --  this means the person reporting the bug was mistaken about how the software should work and that the software is working the way it should be. However, a bug resolved like this could be a sign that the specification is unclear or that the user interface is confusing.

External -- this means the bug is caused by an object or circumstance external to the software. This usually means it's Microsoft's fault (wink).

Some people suggest Postponed as a possible resolution. I disagree. A bug resolved as a Postponed bug will move to the closed state and that will be the end of it. If it's really your intention to fix the bug later (in a service pack for example), give it a status of Postponed instead of Resolved.

Back to Bug Tracking Guidelines

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Bug tracking doesn't have to be complicated

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