Solving A Bug

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Solving a Bug


JUnit is a large, mature free and open source software (FOSS) that is written in Java. Learners will read an open issue in JUnit, find resources to research and understand it, replicate the bug, produce some improved additional test cases while writing a better bug report, and describe the process required to fix the bug.

  1. Including a library in a Java project
  2. Running a JUnit Test Case (No in-depth knowledge of JUnit assumed)
After successfully completing this activity, the learner should be able to:
  1. Understand, investigate and report details on a real, poorly documented, unsolved issue in JUnit a FOSS application.
  2. Reproduce a reported bug.
  3. Write an improved bug report and 4) Describe the process required to fix the bug.
Process Skills


This project is designed to familiarize students with a FOSS that is widely used, the process for improving this mature application with a complex architecture, and raise their awareness of the FOSS community. JUnit is free and open source software (FOSS) that is written in Java. The scenario: You would like to contribute to JUnit as a tester and bug fixer. Read about the JUnit FOSS community to determine how..The instructions are intentionally obtuse. The student will examine a real world issue with no simple answer and determine how to address it. There is no answer on StackOverflow!


We will use one specific issue in JUnit to learn about the JUnit community.

Part 1 - Install a version of JUnit

  1. Download junit-4.12.jar at . Remember the directory location you placed the jar files in.
  2. Create a project in Eclipse.
  3. Add the jUnit-4.12 jar in its build path.

Part 2 - Locate and describe the JUnit Issue

  1. Locate issue number #226 in the github Social Coding JUnit Issue Tracker at
    1. How is the issue categorized? Is this a bug or feature request or something else?
    2. What date was it reported?
    3. Has the issue been assigned?
    4. How many participants in the discussion?

Part 3 - Reproduce the JUnit Issue

  1. Using JUnit 4.12, the information supplied about the issue and any other information you may have found in your research answer the following questions:
    1. Did the code shown execute?
    2. Was your result/output the same as the author of the issue?
    3. Take a screen shot of Eclipse when you reproduce the bug, and submit it in your report that answers these questions.
  2. In your opinion, was this bug well-written and easy to understand for the first two cases? Why or why not?

Part 4 - Write an Improved Bug Report

  1. There is a lot of missing information in this issue. Please supply three (at a minimum) pieces of information that should have been included in the description of the issue.
  2. In a clear, and succinct manner provide a better description of the problem described. Please proved 2 additional test cases: one that is successful, one that is not. Show the unsuccessful/successful conclusion for each of your new test cases in screen shots.

Part 5 - What Next?

  1. Assume that this bug sparks your curiosity. State an approach that you would take to find a solution for this bug. A VERY general outline is acceptable.
  2. Outline the approach you would take to commit the fix for the issue if you have successfully coded it. A general outline is acceptable.


Report (in Word .docx format) that includes screen shots.


Suggested 100 point rubric

How do you report a JUnit bug? How do you volunteer to fix a JUnit bug? (Each worth 10 points) Correct Partial Credit
Bug, date reported, issue assigned, reproducible and output (4 each) Correct Partial Credit
2 new test cases (10 each) Correct Partial Credit
General outline for solution process Correct Partial Credit
General outline to commit a fix Correct Partial Credit



Additional Information:

Area & Unit(s)

SE/Software Verification and Validation, SDF/Fundamental Programming Concepts


Moderately Difficult

Estimated Time
to Complete

150-180 minutes

Environment /

Java IDE configured with JUnit 4.12.


E Brannock




This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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Knowledge Area/Knowledge Unit SDF and SE
Level of Difficulty
Estimated Time to Completion
Source None

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