Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Underwritten Bug

In direct contrast to my earlier post about the overwritten bug, today we take a look the underwritten bug.

Writing a bug shouldn't be the beginning of a Sherlock Holmes novel. You don't want to force the developer to make and test assumptions. First, this makes things take a lot longer. Second, you only piss off your developer over time.

This, for example, is an underwritten bug:
Updated time overlaps status info

I ran the upgrader and saw this.

So what's bad about this bug?
  • It doesn't tell you what the problem is.
  • With GUI bugs, screenshots are rarely a bad idea.
  • It doesn't tell you what the desired behavior is.
  • If there are any special conditions required to get this bug to occur (e.g., browser version, certain time of day), they aren't mentioned here.
If you have to pick between an overwritten bug and an underwritten bug, choose an overwritten bug. However, the better way is to choose a well-written bug.

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