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QotD: Crash Reports

Question: How often do you "Send to Apple" the crash reports that appear when an app goes down?

My Answer: Never. I'm still hoping Apple provides a away for an application to provide contact information for the developer so that we, not frickin' Apple, get the crash reports. What the heck do they care if PulpFiction crashes when it tries to fetch some badly malformed feed? It's highly unlikely the crash is in the AppKit or Foundation frameworks, and if it is, who better to create a use case or example and submit a bug to Apple: the end user or the developer of the app?

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

12 Responses to "QotD: Crash Reports"

  1. every other time... depends if it seems to be a recurring issue or not.

  2. All the time... I figure if I keep sending them to apple they might get a clue and figure out a way that crash reports get sent to the developer. I doubt that will ever happen, as I tend to think they just to the bit bucket.

  3. I don't know if I'd say that's unlikely.

  4. Crash reports

    Erik says he doesn't send crash reports to Apple. That's unfortunate. Unless there's highly confidential information in your crash log...

  5. Never, if I find a bug in Apple's applications I'll head straight to Radar and put it there - that way I'm secure in the knowledge that they are ignoring me.

    Microsoft has Apple one-up on this. The bug reports that are submitted to Microsoft in Windows XP are able to be viewed by 3rd party developers if it is your application.

    Also, the process is just a simple one-click - who's going to bother filling out the "what were you doing when..." properly (or with any usable detail)?

  6. I usually examine the trace myself, and see where the crash is — if it's possible that it was a system lib (or it's an Apple application) I send.

    Note that Adium and OmniWeb have their own crashcatchers — I think there's some system support for this functionality. You might want to look into that, whether personally to automatically log errors while you're developing, or for end-user problems.

  7. I submit them all the time, and only head over to radar when i need to send a screenshot. i really should use radar more (I recently got an email that they were unable to reproduce an error!)

    non-apple crash catchers are a PITA to deal with - thats why i don't bother.

  8. Crash catchers are entirely doable, you just need to catch the correct signals, prevent the Apple crash catcher from appearing, figure out which app that crashed (only a problem if you use the same crash catcher with several apps without recompiling), fetch and augment the log, make the interface, decide what can be sent, make up a way to send it, make sure appropriate errors come up when it can't be sent or the crash log can't be found, and a partridge in a pear tree. That crash catchers are a PITA to use, I'm not so sure, but they sure are to build, and I think this is what Erik was addressing. And I agree with his usage - I don't send bugs to Apple unless there's reason to suspect that something on their side is wrong - ie a bug in their frameworks in someone else's app, in the OS or in their own apps.

  9. Jesper is correct: I wish Apple's default crash catcher could be told to send the crash log to the developer instead of automatically going to Apple where - if it's a bug in PulpFiction's parser or something - it's probably quickly thrown away.

  10. Blizzard has their own crash catcher for Mac that works just like Apple's. It is a helper application that runs whenever WoW gets stuck. Must not be too hard to make since Blizzard had one up and running so quickly in beta.

  11. I sometimes send them in on Apple applications, especially if I can figure out why it crashed and point out their stupidity. 🙂

    On third party applications, I only send them in if it is very obvious that the crash occurred inside Apple's code in a way that makes it look like it couldn't have been the fault of the app. So not very often.

  12. Leave it to Unsanity. Earlier this year I mentioned in a QotD that I was "still hoping Apple provides a way for an application to provide contact information for the developer so that we, not frickin' Apple, get the crash...