Is there a way to query the esri bug database to see if various issues have been reported as bugs or if some registered bugs are fixed or plan on being fixed?
Some but not all, bugs are publicly posted. You can find them by searching the support page - http://support.esri.com
You can filter the results for tech articles, bugs etc. I often search directly here by NIM# to check the status of a bug I know about.
I also sometimes just do a google search because it's really fast, and this has the added benefit of bringing up threads from another very useful site, http://gis.stackexchange.com.
Nice. Found the bug I was looking for on the first try using your first method. Thanks!
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