Dan Newcome on technology

I'm bringing cyber back

That pesky bug

with 3 comments

I want to talk for a minute about that annoying bug. That one that doesn’t crash the app but makes it do something annoying. That bug that for some reason, has some dependency on the way that the app was designed early on, so the simple fixes break something else in the app.

How did this happen? We were so careful when we designed this thing! We built things up and tested in small pieces. We continuously integrated everyone’s changes and refactored things as we went.

Well, unfortunately it is nearly impossible to optimize a program along all axes. Somewhere along the line, a decision was made, probably a correct one, that put us down this path. So now we have one axis of the program that has gotten tricky to deal with. Optimizing for this axis is going to wreak havoc on the rest of the program.

Begrudgingly, we revert the quick fix for this bug and push it down on the priority list. But hey bug man, your number is up on the next iteration!

Written by newcome

February 7, 2012 at 11:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. It seems unusual that you don’t reach for a solution or analyze the situation, but just make a statement. It feels strangely similar to an anti-climax. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Chris "Jesdisciple"

    February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

  2. Heh, yeah you are right. The thing that prompted me to write this was actually something much smaller – refactoring the Hacker News user script that I posted a while ago. It’s not something that was “designed” exactly, but it evolved and I started refactoring so I can eventually use it on some other sites. I put it on Github so I felt like I should clean it up a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

    The bug in the script that annoyed me was that when I hit the bottom of the list, the check for whether the end has been reached is not correct. If it was designed correctly it should be trivial to add the check without breaking anything else. But stupidly, the code for highlighting the items is part of that code, so I end up with another more annoying bug where the last item is ‘stuck on’ and highlighted until you move down to it.


    February 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

  3. Well, most of my programming experience consists of hobbyism and the company I’m now at is currently focused on quickly pumping out one-man projects. So I can’t say I have ever worked on a properly designed project. And while I’ll be coding as long as there’s a computer within arm’s reach, my hobbyism hasn’t yet motivated me long enough to complete any of my projects; being hired does wonders for that, but I haven’t been on-board long enough to release.

    So in short, I am by far your junior and cannot relate to your woes. However, I pledge solidarity with you in hatred against bugs.

    Chris "Jesdisciple"

    February 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

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