A crash reporter is an application whose function is to report crash data to a third party, usually to the party responsible for the crashed program. Crash reports often include data such as stack traces, type of crash, and version of software. This information helps software developers to diagnose and fix the underlying problem causing the crash.
Mac OS X
In Mac OS X there is a standard crash reporter in /System/Library/CoreServices/Crash Reporter.app. Crash Reporter.app sends the Unix crash logs to Apple Computer for their engineers to look at. The top text field of the window has the crash log, while the bottom field is for user comments. Users may also copy and paste the log in their email client to send to the application vendor for them to use. Crash Reporter.app has 3 main modes: display nothing on crash, display "Application has crashed" dialog box or display Crash Report window.
Microsoft Windows XP includes a crash reporting service called Windows Error Reporting (formerly Online Crash Analysis) that prompts users to send crash reports to Microsoft for online analysis. The information goes to a central database run by Microsoft. It consists of diagnostic information that helps the company or development team responsible for the crash to debug and resolve the issue if they choose to do so.
Windows probably contains the most sophisticated form of OCA to date where the central database can be set up to gather additional information from users that are experiencing a particular type of crash (through user approval). The system considers all parts of the debug and release process, such that targeted bug fixes can be applied through Windows Update. In other words, only people experiencing a particular type of crash can be offered the bug fix, thus limiting exposure to an issue.
Bug Buddy is the crash reporting tool used by the GNOME platform. When an application using the GNOME libraries crashes, Bug Buddy generates a stack trace using gdb and invites the user to submit the report to the GNOME bugzilla. The user can add comments and view the details of the crash report.
The crash reporting tool used by KDE is called Dr. Konqi. The user can also get a backtrace using gdb.
(also known as the Quality Feedback Agent) was the crash reporter used by Mozilla software up to version 1.8.1 to report crashes of its products to a centralized server for aggregation or case-by-case analysis. Talkback is proprietary software licensed to the Mozilla Corporation by SupportSoft. If a Mozilla product (e.g. Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird) were to crash with Talkback enabled, the Talkback agent would appear, prompting the user to provide optional information regarding the crash. Talkback does not replace the native OS crash reporter which, if enabled, will appear along with the Talkback agent. Talkback has been replaced by Breakpad in Firefox since version 3.
Breakpad (previously called Airbag) is an open-source replacement for Talkback. It is being developed by Google and Mozilla, and used in current Mozilla-based products such as Firefox and Thunderbird. This product is significant because it is the first open source multi-platform crash reporting system.
Since May 27, 2007, Breakpad is now included in Firefox 3 trunk builds on Windows NT and Mac OS X, and, a few weeks later, on Linux.
With the release of Ubuntu 6.10, Ubuntu includes Apport.
Apport works by installing a userspace helper which intercepts user processes when they would usually dump core, and writes crash reports to a staging location. A user daemon then invites the user to submit new crash reports to Ubuntu for analysis.
Apport is disabled by default on official end-user-facing releases of Ubuntu.
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is another program to use its own crash reporter, "Error Reporter". The error reporter may not detect crashes all the time; sometimes the OS crash reporter is invoked instead. Error Reporter has even been known to crash while reporting errors.
Another error reporting library for Windows is CrashRpt. CrashRpt library is a light-weight open source error handling framework for applications created in Microsoft Visual C++ and running under Windows. The library is distributed under New BSD License.
CrashRpt intercepts unhandled exceptions, creates a crash minidump file, builds a crash descriptor in XML format, presents an interface to allow user to review the crash report, and finally it compresses and sends the crash report to the software support team.
- ^ Using Microsoft Online Crash Analysis
- ^ "Mozilla Talkback server". http://talkback-public.mozilla.org. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- ^ Deploying the Airbag. BSBlog (Mozilla developer Benjamin Smedberg's weblog).
- ^ Using Breakpad with Gran Paradiso (1.9a3). BSBlog (Mozilla developer Benjamin Smedberg's weblog).
- ^ Bug 381099 – Turn on crash reporting by default (Win+Mac), mozilla.org bug tracker]
- ^ "EdgyReleaseNotes". https://wiki.ubuntu.com/EdgyReleaseNotes#head-f5da53c61413ea1fca4132076c67af44e41e74ec. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
- ^ "Apport". Ubuntu Wiki. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Apport. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
- ^ "New Android app crash report tool already up and running". http://www.androidcentral.com/new-android-app-crash-report-tool-already-and-running. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- ^ "Technical Note TN2151". http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#technotes/tn2151/_index.html. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- ^ "How do I obtain crash-data from my Android application?". http://stackoverflow.com/questions/601503/how-do-i-obtain-crash-data-from-my-android-application. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
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