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Re: [News] Selling Buggy Software

__/ [ High Plains Thumper ] on Thursday 25 May 2006 18:42 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> Why we all sell code with bugs
>> ,----[ Quote ]
>> | Every time Microsoft releases a version of Windows, stories are
>> | written about how the open bug count is a five-digit number.
>> `----
>> http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1781895,00.html
> [quote] All the reasons are tied up in one truth: every time you fix a bug,
> you risk introducing another. Don't we all start out with the belief that
> software only gets better as we work on it? Nobody on our team
> intentionally creates new bugs. Yet we have done accidentally. [/quote]

I quite like the slogan of oldversion.com: "newer id not always better"

        * This can be used to defend an argument in the context of bloat
        * Bloat can also introduce bugs, so newer might mean less maturity (think
Apache 1 and 2 or even FC2, which we still use in the Dept. of Computer
Science due to subsequent versions and their risk of bug)

Often you deal with a bug/feature equilibrium. When you introduce extra
complexity, you are at the brink of instability. Code code practices are
often the answer (never wind up suggesting a 60% code re-write, i.e. when
it's too late).

Lastly, severity of bugs is an important factor. In Windows, for example,
many critical bugs come up, so they must be fixed _in haste_. Thus,
releasing buggy projects may be OK so long as none of the bugs is critical.
A recent example if Microsoft Word. An exploit already exists and an update
must be injected while customers work in 'safe mode'.

> When I worked in software development, when we fixed a bug, we didn't
> introduce another.  A bug fix was a bug fix.  What it sounds like to me
> here is someone doing a bug fix plus adding code to "improve things".  That
> is not a bug fix.

Your statement holds correct when the code is properly built. If it is
modular, you can handle compartments in isolation. Windows and some of its
software is monolithic, possibly due to scale and feature-driven,
deadline-inclined design. This issue was discussed many times before.
Imposition of deadlines has been a real poison in Microsoft. It leads to
morbit software reaching the public semi-cooked.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "I blame God for making me an atheist"
http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU is Not UNIX  ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  6:50pm  up 28 days  1:22,  8 users,  load average: 0.26, 0.10, 0.15
      http://iuron.com - proposing a non-profit search engine

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