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Before I can fix an error, I need to understand what the problem
is. Try to explain what is wrong and why you think it is wrong. Please
try to include sample code that demonstrates the problem. Include a
description of what Icarus Verilog does that is wrong, and what you
expect should happen. And include the command line flags passed to the
compiler to make the error happen. (This is often overlooked, and
sometimes important.)
* The Compiler Doesn't Compile
If Icarus Verilog doesn't compile, I need to know about the
compilation tools you are using. Specifically, I need to know:
- Operating system and processor type,
- Compiler w/ version,
- Versions of any libraries being linked, and
- anything else you think relevant.
Be aware that I do not have at my disposal a porting lab. I have the
workstation on my desk, a Mac laptop, and the Linux/Intel box with a
logic analyzer and 'scope hanging off it.
* The Compiler Crashes
No compiler should crash, no matter what kind of garbage is fed to
it. If the compiler crashes, you definitely found a bug and I need to
know about it.
Icarus Verilog internally checks its state while it works, and if it
detects something wrong that it cannot recover from, it will abort
intentionally. The "assertion failure" message that the program
prints in the process of dying is very important. It tells me where in
the source the bad thing happened. Include that message in the bug
If there are no assertion messages, I need to know that as well.
I also need a complete test program that demonstrates the crash.
* It Doesn't Like My Perfectly Valid Program(tm)
I need to know what you think is right that Icarus Verilog gets
wrong. Does it reject your "Perfectly Valid Program(tm)" or does it
compile it but give incorrect results? The latter is the most
insidious as it doesn't scream out to be fixed unless someone is
watching closely. However, if I get a sample program from you, and I
can compile it, and I run it and nuclear junk doesn't fall from the
sky, I'm moving on to the next problem.
So, if your program doesn't compile, tell me so, tell me where the
error occurs, and include a complete Perfectly Valid Test Program(tm).
You tell me that it fails to compile for you, and I find that it
compiles for me, then hooray I fixed it. It can happen, you
know. What's on my disk is more recent than the latest snapshot.
If your program does compile, but generates incorrect output, I need
to know what it says and what you think it should say. From this I can
take your sample program and work on Icarus Verilog until it gets the
proper results. For this to work, of course, I first need to know what
is wrong with the output. Spell it out, because I've been known to
miss the obvious. Compiler writers often get buried in the details of
the wrong problem.
* It Generates Incorrect Target Code
As Icarus Verilog adds target code generators, there will be cases
where errors in the output netlist format occur. This is a tough nut
because I might not have all the tools to test the target format you
are reporting problems with. However, if you clearly explain what is
right and wrong about the generated output, I will probably be able
to fix the problem. It may take a few iterations.
In this case, if possible include not only the sample Verilog program,
but the generated netlist file(s) and a clear indication of what went
wrong or what is expected. If it is not clear to me, I will ask for
* The Output is Correct, But Less Than Ideal
If the output is strictly correct, but just not good enough for
practical use, I would like to know. These sorts of problems are
likely to be more subjective than a core dump, but are worthy of
consideration. However, realize that outright errors will get more
attention than missed optimizations.
If at all possible, please submit a complete source file that
demonstrates the problem. If the error occurs after elaboration,
please include a top level module in the program that is suitable for
the target format. If I have to write the module myself, I might not
write it in a way that tickles the bug. So please, send all the
Verilog source that I need to invoke the error.
Also, include the command line you use to invoke the compiler. For
iverilog -o foo.out -tvvp foo.v
iverilog foo.vl -s starthere
If the error occurs with the null target (``-tnull'') then a top level
module may not be needed as long as the ``-s <name>'' switch is
So when you send a test case, ask yourself "Can poor overworked Steve
invoke the error without any Verilog other than what is included?" And
while we are at it, please place a copyright notice in your test
program and include a GPL license statement if you can. Your test
program may find its way into the test suite, and the notices will
make it all nice and legal. Please look at the existing tests in the
test suite <http://sourceforge.net/ivtest> for examples of good test
The URL <http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=149850> is the main
bug tracking system. Once you believe you have found a bug, you may
browse the bugs database for existing bugs that may be related to
yours. You might find that your bug has already been fixed in a later
release or snapshot. If that's the case, then you are set. Also,
consider if you are reporting a bug or really asking for a new
feature, and use the appropriate tracker.
The bug database supports basic keyword searches, and you can
optionally limit your search to active bugs, or fixed bugs. You may
also browse the bug database, just to get an idea what is still
broken. You may for example find a related bug that explains your
The root page of the bug report database describes how to submit your
completed bug report.
Bug reports with patches are very welcome, especially if they are
formatted such that I can inspect them, decide that they are obviously
correct, and apply them without worry.
I prefer patches generated by the git source code tracking system. If
you are editing the source, you really should be using the latest
version from git. Please see the developer documentation for more
detailed instructions -- <http://iverilog.wikia.com/wiki/>.
When you make a patch, submit it to the "Patches" tracker at
<http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=149850>. Patches added to
the "Patches" tracker enter the developer workflow, are checked,
applied to the appropriate git branch, and are pushed. Then the
tracker item is closed.
If you send patches, *please* tell me what this patch is supposed to
accomplish, which branch you intended to be patched, and if
appropriate include a test program that demonstrates the efficacy of
the patch. (If I have no idea what the patch is for, I will ask for
clarification before applying it.)
Icarus Verilog is Copyright (c) 1998-2008 Stephen Williams except
where otherwise noted. Minor patches are covered as derivative works
(or editorial comment or whatever the appropriate legal term is) and
folded into the rest of ivl. However, if a submission can reasonably
be considered independently copyrightable, it's yours and I encourage
you to claim it with appropriate copyright notices. This submission
then falls under the "otherwise noted" category.
I must insist that any copyright material submitted for inclusion
include the GPL license notice as shown in the rest of the source.