Software Development

Higgs-Bugson

A hypothetical error whose existence is suggested by log events and vague reports from the users that cannot be reproduced in development conditions. QA and user support teams point to the Higgs-bugson as an explanation for the results they see in the field. Software engineers, however, often deny the existence of the Higgs-Bugson and offer alternative theories that often blame the user. » about 200 words

The Bugs That Haunt Me

A few years ago I found an article pointing out how spammers had figured out how to abuse some code I wrote back in 2001 or so. I’d put it on the list to fix and even started a blog post so that I could take my lumps publicly.

Now I’ve rediscovered that draft post…and that I never fixed the bad code it had fingered. Worse, I’m no longer in a position to change the code.

Along similar lines, I’ve been told that a database driven DHCP config file generator that I wrote back in the late 1990s is still in use, and still suffers bugs due to my failure to sanitize MAC addresses that, being entered by humans, sometimes have errors.

I’ve written bad code since then and will write more bad code still, but as my participation in open source projects has increased, I’ve enjoyed the benefit of community examples and criticism. My work now is better for it.