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B.4 Reporting Problems and Bugs

There is nothing more dangerous than a bored archeologist.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

If you have problems with gawk or think that you have found a bug, please report it to the developers; we cannot promise to do anything but we might well want to fix it.

Before reporting a bug, make sure you have actually found a real bug. Carefully reread the documentation and see if it really says you can do what you’re trying to do. If it’s not clear whether you should be able to do something or not, report that too; it’s a bug in the documentation!

Before reporting a bug or trying to fix it yourself, try to isolate it to the smallest possible awk program and input data file that reproduces the problem. Then send us the program and data file, some idea of what kind of Unix system you’re using, the compiler you used to compile gawk, and the exact results gawk gave you. Also say what you expected to occur; this helps us decide whether the problem is really in the documentation.

Please include the version number of gawk you are using. You can get this information with the command ‘gawk --version’.

Once you have a precise problem, send email to “bug-gawk at gnu dot org”.

Using this address automatically sends a copy of your mail to me. If necessary, I can be reached directly at “arnold at skeeve dot com”. The bug reporting address is preferred since the email list is archived at the GNU Project. All email should be in English, since that is my native language.

CAUTION: Do not try to report bugs in gawk by posting to the Usenet/Internet newsgroup comp.lang.awk. While the gawk developers do occasionally read this newsgroup, there is no guarantee that we will see your posting. The steps described above are the official recognized ways for reporting bugs. Really.

NOTE: Many distributions of GNU/Linux and the various BSD-based operating systems have their own bug reporting systems. If you report a bug using your distribution’s bug reporting system, please also send a copy to “bug-gawk at gnu dot org”.

This is for two reasons. First, while some distributions forward bug reports “upstream” to the GNU mailing list, many don’t, so there is a good chance that the gawk maintainer won’t even see the bug report! Second, mail to the GNU list is archived, and having everything at the GNU project keeps things self-contained and not dependant on other web sites.

Non-bug suggestions are always welcome as well. If you have questions about things that are unclear in the documentation or are just obscure features, ask me; I will try to help you out, although I may not have the time to fix the problem. You can send me electronic mail at the Internet address noted previously.

If you find bugs in one of the non-Unix ports of gawk, please send an electronic mail message to the person who maintains that port. They are named in the following list, as well as in the README file in the gawk distribution. Information in the README file should be considered authoritative if it conflicts with this Web page.

The people maintaining the non-Unix ports of gawk are as follows:

MS-DOS with DJGPPScott Deifik, “scottd dot mail at sbcglobal dot net”.
MS-Windows with MINGWEli Zaretskii, “eliz at gnu dot org”.
OS/2Andreas Buening, “andreas dot buening at nexgo dot de”.
VMSPat Rankin, “r.pat.rankin at”, and John Malmberg, “wb8tyw at”.
z/OS (OS/390)Dave Pitts, “dpitts at cozx dot com”.

If your bug is also reproducible under Unix, please send a copy of your report to the “bug-gawk at gnu dot org” email list as well.

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