During my five years working at Mozilla, I’ve been known to ask people to file bugs when they encountered an issue. Most of the time, the answer was that they didn’t have time to do so and it was useless. I think it is actually very valuable. You get to learn from that experience: how to file actionable bugs, getting deeper knowledge into a specification, maybe a workaround for the problem.

A recent example

Three weeks ago, at work, we launched a new design for the website header. We got some reports that the logo was missing in Firefox on some pages. After investigation, we discovered that Firefox (and also Edge) had a different behaviour with SVG’s <use xlink:href> on pages with a <base> element. We fixed it right away by using an absolute URL for our logo. But we also filed bugs against Gecko and Edge. As part of filing those bugs, I found the change in the SVG specification clarifying how it should be handled. Microsoft fixed the issue in less than two weeks. Mozilla fixed it in less than three weeks.

In October this year1, all browsers should behave the same way in regard to that issue. And a four year old workaround will be obsolete. We will be able to remove the code that we had to introduce. Less code, yeah!

I hope this will convince you that filing bugs has an impact. You can learn more on how to file actionable bugs. If you’d like an easier venue to file bugs when browsers are incompatible, the WebCompat project is a nice place to start.

  1. Firefox 55 should be released on August 8 and the next Edge should be released in September (maybe even earlier, I’m not clear on Edge’s release schedule)