Report A Fault

I greatly appreciate your time and willingness to report a fault. If you are already experienced in using GitHub then very little information on here will help you. Please go to the TwitchPress GitHub now and create an issue detailing the fault you have found.

TwitchPress GitHub Issue 500 Error by j1mTV
j1mTV created a new issue on the TwitchPress GitHub

New To Development?

I want to give you tips on providing the right kind of information to help me understand your experience and what has gone wrong. Sometimes I can tell where a fault is within the code just by looking at images, 10-second videos, or a few lines in your server log file.

Some tips to help you work with me…

  1. Capture: I need evidence of the problem. The methods and tools used should increase the severity or complexity of the fault i.e. if it requires a lot of steps, a video is best.
  2. Logs: WordPress can log errors to a file that is created in the wp-content folder and your hosting control panel will offer access to a PHP log. Try to locate and copy the entries that relate to the fault you discovered and remove any sensitive data. Those log entries might be enough for me to fix the issue within the hour.
  3. Share: Join the community and share your evidence. You will give everyone the opportunity to compare notes when experiencing similar issues. Some keen members will even provide support when I’m offline.
  4. Test: It helps greatly if you can confirm the outcome of new versions. If you can go through the same steps that caused the original fault and confirm that I did my job, then I know I have done my job!
  5. Debugging: My plugin comes with BugNet – a system for logging and taking control of logging. There are options to increase logging and also display errors. This will give you better awareness of the condition of your WordPress installation but be warned. Activating error display can result in the public seeing sensitive data if care is not taking. I have provided an option for entering a user ID that allows a single account to view the error dump as a precaution.

Browser and Desktop Screenshot Tools

Web browsers allow the installation of extensions that can capture the page and save or share it. Microsoft Edge has a built-in screen-capture feature with the ability to edit the capture before sharing/saving.

You can never send too many images to me. You know what they say, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” and at a single glimpse they can tell a developer exactly what lines of code to check out of tens of thousands of lines.

Image capture your screen when things go wrong, then when it gets fixed please capture it again and confirm things have gotten better. It cheers me up!

Desktop Tools Like Lightshot

Browser screen capture tools aren’t always suitable because we don’t always work within the browser. So I don’t use them at all and I rely on Lightshot. It’s a simple but reliable tool – based on over two years of use!

Lightbox allows sharing to social media, saving to desktop, copy to clipboard and instant upload with the URL to your new media being saved to clipboard instead.

You will also enjoy the drawing tools as they can be used to highlight information using various colors and express what is on your mind without a single word.

Desktop Recording

This can be a highly effective way to prove a problem and provide the information I need to investigate it quickly. I’m going to assume most visitors to this page are already using screen capture software and keep it short. If you happen to be very new to all of this, just ask and I will add more information here.

Sending Captures Quickly

I don’t want to create emails and attach images any more than you do. It can become a very tedious task when trying to communicate a constant fault. Luckily software and even websites allow a lot more copying and pasting than they used to.

Discord

Not a Discord user yet? Then you’re in a for a treat because Discord is the place for gamers to be when they aren’t streaming. That is why I created a server for TwitchPress. Discord allows images to be copied and pasted into chat. You are invited to the TwitchPress community on Discord by clicking here now.

TwitchPress Discord Server in Support channel
Capture your image using your preferred tool i.e. Lightshot is my tool. Then in the support channel just paste into the chat and your image will be uploaded instantly.

GitHub

GitHub is mainly a home (repository) for projects but it has a system for managing issues that anyone can use and get involved with. It’s basically a task management solution, with long to-do lists that can be moved around and lots of information added.

TwitchPress GitHub Issues Board
TwitchPress boards on GitHub

You do not need to be a developer to use GitHub and you can support the TwitchPress project by giving it a try. GitHub allows you to create an “Issue” and labels the issue as a request for help, a bug or a new idea. You paste images directly into the text editor, on the website itself.

Activate Error Dump and Logging

You can use BugNet to debug issues for all plugins and themes if you wanted. I will guide you on activating BugNet in a way that focuses on TwitchPress and only allows your own account to view error dumps.

TwitchPress BugNet Activate Logging
Go to the General settings tab and click on the BugNet section. Check the box for activating logging for now. BugNet has other options recommended for advanced users.
TwitchPress BugNet Level Switches and Handler Switches
Check the boxes for all level switches for now but uncheck some of the lower boxes if logging gets hyperactive. The handler switches allow us to use different methods for storing log entries. Check the log files option. 
TwitchPress BugNet System Logging and Error Dump options
Activate the system logging option to allow standard PHP logging. Also enter your user ID which is one if your the only or first user. This option ensures error dumps are hidden from all other visitors in both the administration side and on the frontside. 
TwitchPress Display Errors Option
Now go to Advanced Settings and check the Display Errors button and then Save. All sorts of notices may be displayed from here on especially if some of your plugins have faults. Not everything is a bug but it can help to clear a lot of the minor stuff up and I can give advice on doing that. 

Error Dump

You will find the error dump itself at the foot of your website. This is the best way to avoid it affecting your pay layout and allows all possible data to be included in the dump.

Sometimes the dump is difficult to see due to the WordPress menu or a theme’s layout. I often install a horizontal menu plugin for the admin and if I’m not working on a theme I switch to a theme that allows the dump to be displayed easily.

You’re Professional

You’re professional by establishing a routine for managing issues found on your own site and taking the initiative to have them dealt with in an efficient way i.e. using Trello or GitHub boards to manage your own tasks. So don’t forget that an issue may exist within my plugins but once you install my plugins that issue now exists within your project.

Basically, don’t just create an issue or submit comments on my project pages. Do the same on your own and track them there when an issue seems persistent or severe. What you will end up with is something that acts like a roadmap and a history of changes. This will benefit you greatly especially if you hire someone like me to help out as I will quickly understand what you’re trying to do.

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