Oops, 7 Days. Hey look I don't update on weekends.

Software Vulnerabilities

Let's pretend for a little while the the firefox developers didn't make all the bugs that have been found up through 1.0.6. They got them all right the first time. Would firefox have gone this long without anyone finding any holes, or would people have just found different holes?
Permalink Joel Coehoorn 
August 4th, 2005
It's impossible to prove that a piece of software is bug free.

Therefore, it is likely that other bugs would have been found.
Permalink KC 
August 4th, 2005
Yes, others would have been found.
The interesting question is would just as many have been found, or less?
Permalink Just me (Sir to you) 
August 4th, 2005
FEWER not LESS!

Sorry, that one really bugs me. Those "[foo] items or less" signs they have at supermarket checkouts are an abomination...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 4th, 2005
I think it is possible to have zero bugs. You cant prove it is bug free, but absense of evidence is not evidence of absense.
Permalink Eric Debois 
August 4th, 2005
Very good, Eric! Just because you can't prove that they're NOT there, doesn't mean that they ARE there.

I believe in error-free software, too. The 'water-fall' model of software development is extremely bad at producing it, though.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 4th, 2005
If they actually put "10 items or fewer" on supermarket signs, I think the people in my neighborhood would all suffer severe strokes, gripping desperately to their carriages, as they tried to process the syntax.
Permalink muppet 
August 4th, 2005
And God help all of us Software people if somebody actually REQUIRES us to produce error free software. You see, if it's a REQUIREMENT, then some Acceptance Test guy is going to insist you PROVE it. Which as you know, you can't prove, even if there AREN'T any bugs in there.

But you can spend an awfully large amount of time and money TRYING to prove it, before everyone gets tired and just accepts the software.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 4th, 2005
You may not be able to prove it but you can run coverage on the code and with the right tests get something over 90% code coverage tested.

I had that requirement from NCR and it was horrible getting anywhere near it when it was really a middle ware component.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 4th, 2005
You know, maybe LESS is the right term sometimes for bugs - like the bugs are smaller in size, not in number.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 4th, 2005
"You know, maybe LESS is the right term sometimes for bugs - like the bugs are smaller in size, not in number."

Then that would be "smaller bugs". If you must use "less" you could get away with saying "less buggy", but "less bugs" is just crass. A smaller quantity of discrete countable entities is "fewer [foo]", and a smaller quantity measured on some continuous scale is "less [foo]".

"Your head has fewer hairs on it than mine."
"Your hair is less hairy than mine."

maps to

"This code contains fewer bugs."
"This code is less buggy."

I just fear the day that I see a sign saying "10 item's or less"...

(According to Wikipedia it's perfectly acceptable to use "less" for countable objects, but I call bullshits on them and their "descriptive linguistics". :D)
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 4th, 2005
>>"Your hair is less hairy than mine."

Hairy hairs... Are the hair-hairs hairy too?
Permalink Eric Debois 
August 4th, 2005
s/"Your hair is less hairy than mine."/"Your head is less hairy than mine."

I may give up pedantry as a hobby; I'm not getting anywhere near enough sleep for it to be practicable.

As an aside, anyone know any good ways of getting to sleep? My brain seems to be wedged in "you're not going to go to sleep until 3AM" mode, and as I have to get up at about 6:30AM I'm not getting anywhere near enough sleep. For some damned reason, though, I only feel tired for the first five or six hours of the day, and by early afternoon I'm fully awake. I'm not even remotely with it, but I'm unable to go to sleep again until the next 3AM rolls around...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 4th, 2005
Pretty much the same here. Except I dont even become productive before what most people consider to be bedtime. I have given up fighting it though. Since I run my own business I dont have to get out of be before noon.
For a while I was afraid that I would just keep pushing my sleep cycle forward, but it seems to have stabilized pretty well. I go to sleep around 4am.

I do my best work the hours around midnight.
Permalink Eric Debois 
August 4th, 2005
I find 10pm to 2am is my most productive period, but unfortunately my employer insists on me keeping to fairly regular "office hours". If I could work from home, or find some sort of night shift that wasn't crappy shelf-stacking in a supermarket I'd be all set.

I used to work a rolling shift -- three days on, four days off, three nights on, four days off -- and I don't think my sleep pattern has ever recovered from the ordeal...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 4th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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