I've inherited a project with a fairly large codebase, and the original developer rarely, if ever, replies to emails. There's a ton of different ways to do some things in it, and I don't know all of them. A lot of duplicated code along these paths (rather than functions included by, say, 5 pages that do relatively the same thing, it's code copied across 5 pages), and some subtle issues in the database (we've all heard of spaghetti code, but have you ever heard of a spaghetti database?)
All of this I can deal with most of the time no problem.
The issue is when a client finds a bug somewhere. They'll usually send a screenshot of the ending issue, and say, "Could you take a look at this?" while highlighting the specific thing on the page that's wrong, and sometimes what was expected. Very little more information is given, and trying to talk to them and get more (such as what they did to get the result) is like pulling teeth.
Basically, it boils down to this:
- Large and complex code base I'm not 100% familiar with
- Many many ways things can go wrong
- Very little information on how a bug came to be
Does anybody have any tips, tricks, suggestions, etc. on how to debug this sort of thing?