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<br><center><div class="mainTitle">CodeTrack Help</div></center><br><br>

<div class="outlineHeading"><a href="#buglist" name="buglist">The Home Page</a></div><br>

<p>
This is the first page that you'll see when you login to CodeTrack.  Information 
shown on this page is a brief summary of all the issues currently being tracked 
for your selected project. Bugs or Issues are always presented from oldest to 
newest, in order of status.  So, for example, the oldest outstanding Open issues 
are always at the top of the list, followed by any Deferred issues, and finally 
all the Closed issues are displayed.
</p>

<p>
One of the first things you'll notice on the home page is <b>a little drop down box</b>
right above the summary table, with various project names.  This little widget appears
throughout CodeTrack and is used to quickly change your default project.  Once you have
selected a project, the screen will refresh, and all menus and buttons will be re-written
with respect to your new current project.  Any new bug reports or ad-hoc searches will
default to this project, as will the summary information on your home page.  To give a
concrete example, imagine a scenario where we're tracking a number of projects, including
"The Super Secret Killer App" and "The Helpdesk Database."  When you first logged in, you
chose a default project, and assuming it was "Super Secret Killer App", that is what will
be shown on the home page.  If you were to click on reports, several of the "pre-canned" 
searches will be listed, such as "All Super Secret Killer App Open Bugs".  Similarly, if
you were to click on New Bug, the default project will be pre-chosen as "Super Secret
Killer App".  Now, if you go back to the Home page and choose "The HelpDesk Database", the
screen will refresh, and all screens and hot-links will reflect your new project.  If this
isn't clear, give it a try and it should make sense.
</p>

<p>
Within the bug summary table on the home page, a number of fields are shown. 
<b>"ID"</b> is an internal number that the system uses to refer to a unique bug. 
Note that CodeTrack increments ID numbers system-wide, meaning that simply 
because a project shows a particular bug ID of, say, 103, that does not 
necessarily indicate that 103 bugs have been reported for that project (the 
actual number of bugs is displayed at the bottom of the table).  You might find 
the bug ID is a convenient nomenclature to use when conversing with other team 
members, as it is completely unambiguous.  Contrast "Look at my response to the 
off-by-one data error for Issue #351", versus "Did you guys fix that weird 
problem we were talking about last week?"
</p>

<p>
To see all the details for a given report, simply click on the <b>ID 
link</b> in the summary table.  This will take you to the <a href="#editbug">Edit Bug page</a>,
which shows the most current information for a particular issue.
<p>

<p>
The <b>"Status"</b> column reports whether a bug is Open, Closed, or Deferred (your 
system administrator may also have added additional types of status 
descriptions).  Note that if a developer or analyst has responded to or added any 
information about a particular issue, the status indicator will change to 
italics.  For example "Open" becomes "<i>Open</i>", and so on.  This allows you 
to quickly scan the summary table and see which issues for which other team 
members have taken action.
</p>

<p>
Information in the <b>"Severity"</b> column reflects how onerous a particular issue has
been rated by the QA team.  The standard options are "Fatal", "Serious", "Minor", and 
"Cosmetic".  These are set at the time of a new bug report, and can be adjusted up or
down once a report has been opened.
</p>


<p> The <b>"Submit Time"</b> is just that -- the time at which the 
<i>original</i> bug or issue was opened.  You might notice that with each 
increasing ID number, the submit times are later; lower numbers imply a longer 
time outstanding than higher ones.  Also, if you are working on teams spread out 
geographically, you should note that CodeTrack reports all times based on the 
time zone set on the web server, not the clock on your desktop or that of the 
person's PC submitting a report.  If you find that the time stamps on bug 
reports are incorrect, you may want to contact your CodeTrack system 
administrator to check if the web server clock is current.
</p>

<p>
<b>"Module"</b> is the name of a program or screen name from which an issue 
arose.  In web-based projects, this might be a server-side page name or a screen 
title;  in other milieus, this might be a SAS program, a stored procedure or 
function on the database, and so on.  See the information below on <a href="#newbug">New Bugs</a>
for more information on this field.
</p>

<p>
The <b>Summary</b> is a brief description of the problem.  If the original summary was
particularly lengthy (something highly discouraged!), the last few characters of this field
will show as consecutive periods "..." to indicate that more text exists than is being displayed.
You can think of the summary as a title of the bug or issue at hand.
</p>

<p> Immediately below the summary table is shown the <b>total number of bugs</b> 
or issues for your project, followed by two graphs which break down the counts 
by Status and Severity.  As with all information in CodeTrack, each time you 
click on a link, go to a new page, or even go forward or back in your browser, 
the information shown is updated in <b><i>real time</i></b>.  This means that if one of your
colleagues has added a new report, or the QA folks have closed an outstanding
bug, it will be reflected on your screen as soon as you navigate to any new
page.
<p>

<div class="outlineHeading"><a href="#editbug" name="editbug">Editing a Bug</a></div><br>

<p>
At the top of the Edit Bug page is a set of buttons to navigate through all the 
issues, opened, closed, and deferred, for your current project.  By pressing 
<b>Prev</b> or <b>Next</b>, you can quickly browse issues at a detail-level 
view.  When you come to the end of the list, the button labels will grey out and 
become disabled.  If you click a button and nothing happens, then you're either 
looking at the first or last bug that can be displayed.  As noted in the 
discussion of the <a href="#buglist">Home page</a>, bug ID numbers are not 
necessarily sequential for any given project, so do not be concerned if you 
notice gaps in the numbers.  A bug ID# of, say, 216, is not meant to indicate
that this is the 216th bug for a project.  To see the true number of bugs, simply
click on the Home page button, and review the information below the main summary
table.
</p>

<p>
The <b>Project</b> choice should be pre-selected to your current project.  If you wish
to file a bug for a project other than your default, simply make the selection here,
and your report will be filed with that project.
</p>

<p>
<b>"Module"</b> is the name of a program or screen name from which an issue 
arose.  In web-based projects, this might be a server-side page name or a screen 
title;  in other milieus, this might be a SAS program, a stored procedure or 
function on the database, and so on.  Because this snippet will be displayed on 
the home summary screen, you may want to capitalize each word.  Also, the information
in the Module box should be as brief as possible:  <span class="nonProp">"Search Screen", "Q4 Financials,"</span>
etc. are good examples.
</p>

<p>
Although not required, <b>"Version"</b> information is strongly encouraged.  For traditional
applications, this could be something like <span class="nonProp">v.3.6Beta</span>. In other settings,
a date might be more useful "Jan. 31st Demo"
</p>

<p>
Your choice of <b>"Severity"</b> reflects the degree to which a particular issue 
impacts the project.  The standard options are "Fatal", "Serious", "Minor", and 
"Cosmetic".  These are set at the time of a new bug report, and can be adjusted 
up or down once a report has been opened (but note, in many software engineering 
environments, only QA or Managers are authorized to change the severity label on 
an open issue).  Also, although the particulars vary by organization, generally 
Fatal is reserved for a show-stopper level bug, or one in which data are 
corrupted or grossly misrepresented in unacceptable ways.  In web-based 
projects, a terminating JavaScript or database error might qualify for "Fatal." 
In a data analysis project, "Fatal" might refer to critical missing or erroneous
summary data.  In traditional desktop applications, General Protection Faults or 
segmentation dumps would probably fit the bill. "Serious" generally implies that 
although an application can still run, or a data/content problem exists, and 
should be addressed before roll-out. The distinction between "Minor" and 
"Cosmetic" also tends to vary, and is often context based:  A typo buried deep 
in an obscure section of text, might be rated "Cosmetic", while "Welcom to the 
ABC Company" might qualify for "Minor", or perhaps even "Serious" because of it's 
prominent visibility.  Often trivial formatting or easy-to-fix display issues are 
rated "Cosmetic".  When in doubt, check your local policies.
</p>

<p>
The <b>Brief Summary</b> of Problem should be thought of as a pithy title for your
report -- a few words that capture the essence of the issue at hand.  Note that if
your summary is too wordy, it will be truncated on the main summary screen (shown as
something along the lines of "My Long-Winded Summary is that...").  Good examples of
bug summaries are "Gender Totals Don't Sum to 100%" or "Blue Screen of Death on Search
Screen".
</p>

<p>
Often when entering bug reports, it is convenient to include a screenshot or 
sample data snippet to better illustrate the problem.  Sometimes, an entire program
or output log would be useful.  This is done in CodeTrack via an <b>attachment</b> on
bug reports.  If you're familiar with web-based mail services like Hotmail or Yahoo Mail, 
the procedure is much the same.  Simply click on the Attachment "Browse" button, and
navigate to the file you would like to include.  This can be any type of file on your
PC, such as a Microsoft Word document, an Excel file, a JPG image, etc.  Once the 
file is highlighted, click Open and the name should be automatically typed in the
attachment text box.  Note that although you can manually type in the directory and
file name of your attachment, doing so will likely lead to more problems because of
typos.  Much like a phone number, there's no such thing as "close" here.  If the file
name is invalid, no attachment will be sent with your report.
</p>

<p>
If you are accessing CodeTrack over a dial up connection and are including an 
attachment, you may want to Zip up your file first.  Often, this will cut your 
save time to a half or a third, which can be very noticable for large documents. 
Conversely, if you have several users who access CodeTrack from home, you may 
want to be kind and institute a "zipped-file-only" policy for attachments, to
avoid the proverbial 5 Meg Visio download over a dreadfully slow 56K connection.
</p>

<p>
If your project has been categorized as being <b>Web-based</b>, the New and Edit 
bug forms will include three fields specific to a web environment:  "Tested 
Browser", "Browser-Specific", and "Tested OS".  The choices for these fields 
should be pretty straight forward. Very often, subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) 
differences between different browser versions exist, and may be useful to track 
over time.  It is quite commonplace to have the same web page render <i>very</i> 
differently between, say Internet Explorer 5.0, and Netscape 4.7.  Many shops 
have found that by tracking the Operating System, browser, and browser version 
used in testing, several problems not originally attributed to the browser 
itself can be traced to particularly buggy implementations, of say, Cascading 
Style Sheet inheritance, or an oddball JavaScript problem.  Note that the 
choices in the Tested Browser and Tested OS are completely dynamic and are 
easily updated as new products come to market.  Also, the system allows default 
choices for most options, so if your shop has standardized on, Windows 2000 
Service Pack2 and Netscape version 6, for example, these can be set to auto-fill.
See your CodeTrack system administrator for help in customizing or adding
options for these drop-downs.
</p>

<p>
Near the bottom of the New Bug page, and in the lower middle of the Edit Bug
page, appears the <b>"Save" "Cancel" and "Reset"</b> buttons.

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