Reporting Bugs

What counts as a Bug in Elves?

Since Elves are an interface to third-party x-ray programs, a "bug" in Elves is an interface failure. Interface failues arise whenever a completely uninitiated user does not understand what Elves are doing, and/or Elves do not understand something a completely uninitiated user might try to tell them. A list of bugs known to exist in Elves is available here. Until these few remaining interface failures are sealed, users of Elves may actually want to have a look at the Elves Manual from time to time, or examine the Example Elves Session.

However, the goal for the final release of Elves is to have no need for a manual at all. To this end, I implore anyone who is running the Elves program to inform me of "bugs" whenever they find them.

How to get your bug-fix FAST!

The first thing you should do is email James Holton immediately. It's possible I may already have fixed the problem, and, if so, I'll send you a repaired version of Elves.

In case your bug is a new one, things you can do to help me out are:

  1. tell me what brand of unix you are running (type uname -a), and what Elves did wrong.
  2. include a copy of the exact text that appeared on the screen from the time you lauched Elves to where the problem occured. Using the x-windows copy-and-paste utility is probably an easy way to do this.
  3. run Elves again, but like this:

  4. unix% /bin/csh -vf Elves blah blah blah... |& tee bugreport.txt
    the output will be extremely verbose, but it is very helpful to me. Please send the whole bugreport.txt output to me.
  5. perhaps attach the data file(s) you are using, so I can try to reproduce the error on my end. (discression will, obviously, be observed)
  6. (advanced) If you think you know the point in Elves where the program crashes, please insert the following text into the Elves script:

  7. echo "GOTHERE"
    and then run Elves again. This will tell me a lot about what's going on.
You don't have to do all of this, but this kind of information is extremely valuable to me in diagnosing your problem.

If you're not the social type...

If you don't want to email me a bug report for whatever reason, there are a few guidelines for avoiding "known" bugs and other problems with Elves:

  1. Always use simple, declarative sentences when communicating with Elves, its easier for them to understand.
  2. In Wedger Elves, use a text file of mosflm keywords instead of a command-line sentence to communicate things to them. Wedger does not currently accept many crystallographic parameters on its command line.
  3. Don't be afraid to kill Elves, edit their output script, and run them again. This is the easiest way to customize Elves.
  4. Try using the stage-specific scripts in ./Elfsheim/ when you have a particular task in mind.
  5. Try to follow the same kind of procedure in the Example Elves Session.
If all else fails, read the Manual.

Back to the Elves Page. 

This page is not finished. It will never be finished, and neither will yours. Admit it.
James Holton <JMHolton@lbl.gov>