Tracking the Dark Knight; AKA finding a Webkit engineer

Did you ever come across a browser bug in Webkit and wonder how the hell you get it fixed? or how one tracks down the actual engineer whom landed that feature if no progress is in sight? Well I have no idea either, but I can certainly tell you it’s gonna be a fun and bumpy ride so hang on tight. Where we’re going … we don’t need roads

The Bug

How did this mess start?

I saw that Google was broadcasting their Chrome Office Hours, live from London where the room was chock full of smart brains so I decided to ask a question and see what happened. Well it was up voted and read out loud live by Paul Irish. The answer was obviously something that couldn’t be concluded at that time, but I hit Paul up in a tweet and got this response moments later…

Ghost Hunting with Paul Irish

Paul Irish displaying cat–like abilities and super human strength when searching for Webkit engineering ghosts

The next stop on this witch hunt is sending an email to Dave Hyatt a Webkit Engineer at Apple and also a main contact listed on the bug issue tracker. My only choice left now was to open up that fancy e–mail client editor of mine, start typing, hit send and painfully wait quietly.

Hi Dave,

I came across a Webkit bug particularly REM support within Media Query conditions. Instead of discussing the chain of events in this email I will just share my test case link which contains all the info pertaining to this case. Thanks for your time and looking forward to your help.

Bug Demo Link

Dennis Gaebel Jr.

Updates Since Dave Hyatt e–mail


      Apparently Dave Hyatt is the #1 most busiest Webkit engineer and also hasn’t been very available. I’m now creating a bug tracker account in order to CC Simon Fraser and ask him for a triage. Paul Irish also asked me if REMS are really that cool…YES rems are cool and pixels drool.


      Via Peter Beverloo → “Please use the bug 78295 for tracking “rem” support in Media Queries.” Basically this leads me back to the original bug filed on February 9th, 2012.

The Five Stepped Bug Filing Samba

  1. Check your WebKit version

    To make sure you’re not wasting your (and our) time, you should be using the latest version of WebKit before you file your bug. First of all, you should download the latest nightly build to be sure you have the latest version. If you’ve done this and you still experience the bug, go ahead to the next step.

  2. Search Bugzilla

    Now that you have the latest WebKit version and still think you’ve found a WebKit bug, search through Bugzilla first to see if anyone else has already filed it. This step is very important! If you find that someone has filed your bug already, please go to the next step anyway, but instead of filing a new bug, comment on the one you’ve found. If you can’t find your bug in Bugzilla, go to the next step

  3. Create a Bugzilla account

    You will need to create a Bugzilla account to be able to report bugs (and to comment on them). If you have registered, proceed to the next step.

  4. File the bug!

    Now you are ready to file a bug on the WebKit product. The Writing a Good Bug Report document (also linked in the sidebar) gives some tips about the most useful information to include in bug reports. The better your bug report, the higher the chance that your bug will be addressed (and possibly fixed) quickly!

  5. What happens next?

    Once your bug is filed, you will receive email when it is updated at each stage in the bug life cycle. After the bug is considered fixed, you may be asked to download the latest nightly and confirm that the fix works for you.

Holy Shiz…Links!


Web Development & Design, Technical Writing, Interaction Design, Open Source Maker & Contributor. Helping Create A Better Web.
  1. Awesome, good work! We need more bug hunters like you 😉 It’s important that people know how to do it!

    1. Jarrod,

      I couldn’t agree more. The actual bug filing site is a bit hard to navigate around (poor typography and hierarchical structure with sizing). Makes it hard to find your way around because everything looks the same.

      -Cheers to finding bugs! 🙂

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