Getting Help

  1. Halp!
  2. Step 1: Mail nokogiri-talk, grasshopper.
  3. Step 2: “You got so many Issues you need a magazine rack.”
  4. Summary

Getting Help and Reporting Issues


So you’re having a great time slicing and dicing your XML with Nokogiri, and suddenly something happens that you don’t quite understand. O NOES, the good times are over.

What do you do?

Step 1: Mail nokogiri-talk, grasshopper.

The best thing to do if you’ve got a question, or are unsure how to diagnose a possible issue, want to complain or just ask for advice on how to solve a problem, is to email the nokogiri-talk list.

The nokogiri-talk list has hundreds of subscribers who are all using nokogiri and who are happy to lend a hand, offer advice, and bail you out of tricky situations.

In addition, other people may have the same issue or complaint, and so preserving the question and responses in the mailing list archive is a gift to future Nokogiri users just like you!

You should also probably subscribe to the list. You can either use the web interface; or if you’re like RMS and hate to use javascripty things like Google’s web interface, you can subscribe to the list by sending an empty email to

But I want to report a bug!

Step 1 should still be your first step. Mail nokogiri-talk first, and verify that this is really a bug. If there’s going to be a bug-or-not-bug conversation, it’s better that it happens transparently on the list than somewhere hidden, like off-list emails or Github Issues.

But I want to verify my issue with the maintainer(s) before I spam the list!

Valid questions and complaints aren’t spam! :)

The maintainers vastly prefer nokogiri-related emails to be sent to nokogiri-talk than to their personal accounts. Again, an archive of discussion has a lot of value. Also, the maintainers may not respond as quickly as some of the subscribers on the mailing list.

But I emailed the list and my question hasn’t been posted yet!

The nokogiri-talk google group is set for first-post moderation, meaning that the first time you email the list, your post will be held for review. Once your post is accepted, there won’t be any delay on future emails.

There’s never more than a few hour delay on moderation. Thanks for your patience.

Step 2: “You got so many Issues you need a magazine rack.”

So you say you’ve got a bug. That’s great! We always want to increase the yummy candy-coated goodness of Nokogiri, so if you’ve got a bug, we want to hear about it.

We track boogs on Github Issues, which notifies the maintainers every time a new ticket is created.

What’s In a Bug Report?

Whoa, do we have strong opinions on this topic. The two most important things that a bug report needs to contain are:

  1. Example code that reproduces the observed behavior.
  2. An explanation of what the expected behavior is.

That’s it?

Yes, that’s it.

If you’re a solid Rubyist, you should be able to provide a short, self-contained script that reproduces and demonstrates the behavior. Here’s a great example.

If you want to go above-and-beyond, impress the judge from the Czech Republic, and prove to everyone you went to high school with that you’re better than them, you could even write a failing unit test that meets both criteria in one fell swoop. Like this guy.


To sum up the rules:

  1. Mail nokogiri-talk.
  2. No, really, mail nokogiri-talk.
  3. If you’re really, absolutely, positively sure you’ve got a bug AND you can reproduce it, then mail nokogiri-talk.
  4. If you’ve confirmed it’s a bug on nokogiri-talk, then create a new bug report on Github Issues with your repro code and description of expected behavior.

Thanks so much for reading this page! You’re a good person, and Nokogiri loves you.