Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The deficiency argument

There are many good reasons for bugs not getting addressed. One of them is the design argument ("this system isn't designed for this feature") or the dependency argument ("this bug is in this library we link against"). Both are valid explanations for why a software project does not address a bug directly. And of course the ever-present reasons "lack of time" and "not enough manpower". However, quite often the defence for a bug in some software is along the lines of "Windows can't do this either".

If you explain a deficiency in your software through the deficiencies of competing software, you still have a problem.

I don't care whether other implementations are buggy when I'm using some software. I care about what I'm using because there's a compelling reason why I chose this one. And if it doesn't do the job, it needs to be fixed.

Always strive for your software to be excellent and look to other software for inspiration, not excuses.