Re: [Gimp-developer] history of "great" bugs

On Mon, 2012-09-03 at 18:52 +0300, Dima Ursu wrote:
> Hello,
> At university, at the lecture about software testing, we have been asked 
> to look to software bugs, especially of big, known project which have 
> caused troubles, like crashings, or some other abnormal behavior.
> Does anyone remember some "great" bugs which GIMP had?

I don't know about "great" bugs - people asking that usually like war
stories rather than just searching the database.

So here's a short non-GIMP one...

I used to have some programmers working for me; we got one programmer on
loan from another department. He was a good programmer by and large, but
he still used the "ed" line editor rather than a "new-fangled and
bloated" screen editor. He scoffed at my C coding style guidelines and
said they were for dummies (e.g. requiring braces for if/else
everywhere, and clear variable and function names).

Once after spending a couple of days debugging he rather shamefacedly
came to me and admitted that if he'd followed the guidelines he'd have
saved two days of debugging (at the expense of typing hundreds of extra
brace characters, you work out which is the better deal...).

He'd added an "else" branch to an "if", not noticing that it was itself
in a nested if/else, also with no braces, and the "else" had gone to the
wrong "if". He didn't see it because his editor happened not to show him
that line, and he wasn't using braces or indenting, to "save time".

We also had the bug where the printer "didn't work on the third
wednesday of the month" but that's getting a little far afield.

If you want famous expensive bugs, the NASA project has lots, and the
old Usenet comp.risks archives have lots more.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C,
Pictures from old books:
Ankh: freenode/#xml

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