Monday, October 05, 2009

Never Ignore A Bug You Don't Understand

First, I want to thank the X-Plane users who have gone through piles and piles of regression tests to isolate some of the peskier bugs. Often a bug only occurs on hardware that we don't have in-house, so this detailed reporting is a huge help in shipping a program that has to run on a huge number of configurations.

Sometimes a user will offer to work around a bug by changing an add-on, or just dropping the add-on. But...I have learned the hard way: never ignore a bug you don't understand.

First, the bug might run much deeper than the reported use. Perhaps the bug is actually affecting dozens of other add-ons.

If we don't understand the bug, how can we say "this is so unimportant that it can be ignored"?

Now some bugs, once diagnosed, may prove to be not worth fixing. But...until the bug is fully understood, we have to take the time to dig in. We can't just give up because the bug seems unimportant.

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