Starting with LibreOffice 5.2 the LibreOffice project will have an automated crash reporting tool with server side analysis of the reports. This has been active in the builds since 220.127.116.11.beta1 and was really working since beta 2.
On the client we are using breakpad to generate a minidump whenever we are hitting a crash. As we are not wanting to do more than necessary in the crashing process we are checking for crash reports during the next start and ask the user if he wants to upload the crash report. Together with the minidump, which only contains a backtrace and some system information (OS, CPU, loaded modules and time) we are also collecting some information that are helpful in fixing crashes.
Currently this is limited to information about OpenGL with information whether our OpenGL backend was activated, which OpenGL driver, device and vendor where used and hopefully in a bit whether the crash happened in our OpenGL render path. These info will help to quickly detect broken drivers and put them onto our blacklist.
We might be collecting more information in the future but of course there always needs to be a balance between the privacy of the user and the necessary information to identify the causes for crashes.
Originally my plan was to use Socorro from the Mozilla project but the code is quite heavily connected to their release process. So back in December I naively decided to write an own small django web service that takes the ideas from Socorro and adapts them to the LibreOffice release process. It turned out to be a lot more work but we are finally at a place where the server is usable and provides all the information that we might need for now. There are still a number of open issues and there is still a lot of room for improvements (if you are interested in django web development and want to help the LibreOffice project please contact me).
Also the UX is horrible until now and my lacking skills in CSS are obvious while looking at the web site. Help in fixing many of these issues are greatly appreciated.
Despite these short comings we have already found a few nasty issues in the beta2builds with the reported crashes and we hope to fix more in the future.
Currently the crash reporting is only enabled and useful in official TDF builds but I hope to get a working master daily build with enabled crash reporting working at some point.
There is some initial connection support to LibreOffice’s bugzilla instance but we are working on improving this both on the Bugzilla side and on the crash reporting server side. Look forward to some improvements there.
Additionally as I have no Mac and nobody else stepped up there is currently only support for Windows and Linux. Together with support for Android this is something that should be implemented at some point in the future.
A special thanks to all the people who helped making this possible, especially Norbert Thiébaud who does an amazing job maintaining the LibreOffice development infrastructure and Christian Lohmaier who has the difficult task of producing the builds and uploading the symbols. Additionally Riccardo Magliocchetti and Aybüke Oezdemir have contributed to the server side.
Of course this would also not possibly without the amazing code produced by the Socorro developers who provided some valuable code and information around the Windows SEH exception handling (especially on 64 bit) and the server side development.