How to Request a Feature or Report a Bug in JASP

This blog post explains how you, as a JASP user, can help improve the program — simply give us feedback whenever something is amiss. Specifically, whenever you notice that JASP cannot execute an important task (e.g., filter cases), you can tell us by issuing a feature request; whenever you notice that JASP malfunctions in some way (e.g., the font size in the results panel is too small) you can tell us by issuing a bug report. Such requests and reports are invaluable to us as they identify concrete avenues for improvement that will benefit all JASP users.

Requests and reports could just be emailed to us, but we very much prefer that you use GitHub instead. With GitHub, the entire JASP Team can view your issue, the issue can be assigned to a team member, the issue can be responded to by multiple people, and the issue will not be forgotten until it has been dealt with. In addition, you can check GitHub to see whether your issue has already been reported earlier, by another user. In other words, GitHub is the best way of interacting with the JASP Team.

How to Open an Issue on the JASP GitHub Repository

Like many other open-source software projects, JASP has an online repository on GitHub. In order to request a feature or report a bug, you first have to create an account at GitHub (click here for a guide on how to create an account on GitHub). Once you have your GitHub account, head over to the ‘issues’ section of the JASP repository. What you want to do now is to open an ‘issue’, which can be compared to a thread in a forum. The JASP team checks the repository every day for new or ongoing issues.

To open an issue, click on ‘New issue’ (a green button on the right hand side). All you have to do now is to title your request or report and then describe it in as much detail as possible. Templates for both feature requests and bug reports are provided inside the editor (see image below). These can be used as a rough guideline for your issue.

Once you are done, click on ‘Submit new issue’. The issue is then publicly available and the JASP team will respond to it as soon as possible.

A Note on Bug Reports

Bug reports are especially helpful for us when the problem is described in detail. This is necessary because in order to fix a problem, we usually need to be able to reproduce it first. So the description “The Bayesian linear regression plot does not work” is too imprecise — What plot causes a problem? What is the problem? For what data set does it provide a problem?

To help us hunt down the bug, please include screenshots (to attach these to your GitHub issue, simply drag and drop them to the input field), and possibly the data file or (zipped) JASP file where the problem occured. If you are not ready to share your data with the world, you can send our programmers a private mail, or you can send another data set (or a shuffled/distorted/maimed version of your original data set) — just as long as it has the same problem.

To conclude, we are grateful to all of our users who have contributed feature requests and bug reports — your involvement has substantially improved JASP. For users who have not yet provided requests or bug reports: we are pleased that you are happy with the program, but if you do encounter an issue in the future we hope that you will let us know. Creating a GitHub account is easy, and it greatly facilitates the communication with the JASP team. We eagerly await your suggestions and comments!

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