Announcement: Essential Debugging Steps
Posted By: JeffTucker
Posted: 24 Apr 20, 10:56
Before posting a bug report, there are some steps you should take to determine, first, whether there really is a problem and, second, to determine whether the bug is a jAlbum bug or a skin bug.

If you get an immediate error when launching jAlbum, or when selecting a skin, or when opening an album project:

  • If you have just updated jAlbum or a skin, close jAlbum and launch it again.
  • If you get the same error, reinstall the skin, without an open project.
  • If you get the same error, but you have just installed a jAlbum update, do a complete uninstall/reinstall of jAlbum. This will take only a few minutes, and you won't lose any of your album projects. See:

If you get an error when making an album:

  • Make sure you are using the latest release of jAlbum and the latest release of the skin.
  • Don't keep pounding on a 6000-image, 400-video album. Start a new, small test album project, with no more than a couple of folders and perhaps a dozen images.
  • Try another skin, from a different skin developer. Skin developers often reuse code, so the fact that an error occurs with, for example, two of my skins doesn't necessarily mean that it's a jAlbum error - two of my skins might have the same mistake in them.
  • If the error occurs with a large project, but not with a small test album using the same skin, import the settings from the problem album project to the test project, to see if the error is being caused by specific skin settings.
  • Make a copy of the large project that fails and then, using the copy, start excluding folders/images. Some errors are caused by something specific about a folder or image, and we need to zero in on what's causing the problem.

If an album looks wrong when viewed from the server:

  • If an album looks fine when previewed locally, but not when viewed from your server, the problem is almost always that you haven't uploaded all of the required files. The jAlbum uploader takes care of this automatically, but if you're using a standalone FTP client program like FileZilla, tell it to upload only new or changed files, and then upload the entire contents of the output directory. Don't try to pick and choose files and folders to upload - you will likely miss some things.

Things we usually need:

  • If you can replicate the error with a small test project, zip up the entire project and give us a link to the zip file.
  • If the error appears only when viewing an album, upload it somewhere (to a temporary directory if you don't want to put it on your actual site), and give us a link to the album. Describe what you're seeing that you believe is incorrect, and tell us how to get to that point. We can't spend hours digging into each folder and viewing each image until we find the one that misbehaves.
  • Capture any error dialogs that appear in jAlbum (screen capture), and if you see a warning triangle in the bottom right corner of jAlbum, copy and paste the contents of the system console (F7) to your post here. Please use [code] tags.
  • If you upload the album, be sure to include the file. Under Tools/jAlbum (Windows/macOS), Preferences, Album, choose Include lifeboat file. If this wasn't already selected, make the album again and upload it again.
  • Screenshots of a finished album are usually of no use. That's like sending a photo of your car to your mechanic and asking him why it won't start.
  • Sometimes a screen recording might help illustrate the problem you're having. To make one, see