Suppose my favourite open source application has a bug. Now I want to contribute to the application by fixing its bug and submit the patch to the development team. What's the most effective way to do this? Do you actually read the whole source code of the project (or most of it) to understand the logic before start fixing it?
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Know how to test the bug before fixing
Making sure that your
Usual pitfall in fixing bugs starts from insufficient pre-analysis of a bug/issue. Rush to fix the bug is something developer needs to avoid.
Taking your time to analyse what is the bug, how to re-produce it, its relationship to other parts of the code (also called dependencies) is very important.
In addition try to use re-factoring tools in your development practice. They are very handy and will ease your life while maintaining the code.
Getting up to speed in a large project
Well, even though there is no silver point to follow, i have compiled a list of useful points that were helpful to me.
No you fix the very small detail - the smaller and more local the patch the simpler it is for the owners of the project to understand, test and accept.
You should try and match their coding standards and ideally supply any small test code if possible