I've been thinking lately about bugs and their natures, and to what degree they lend character to the applications they inhabit. Being a developer myself, unconsidered errors in programs that I write are often a source of delight and insight into the very much living nature of the software I'm producing.
Teams have to choose which issues end up shipping in the product, and it's the finer details that most often slip through the deadline and into the user's hands.
An example: Last week I played through Rockstar Software's new Western-themed open-world video game Red Dead Redemption. While I didn't find anything as funny as this video I did run into a handful of odd behaviors as I rode my high dollar digital steed into the pixel sunset.
(Warning: This deteriorates into graphic bug violence...)
Watching their little arms flap, you can't help but grin at how nicely it all really worked out when whatever subroutine in the Rage Engine
picks the animal's polygon skin incorrectly, but still manages to wire the extremities to the flapping animation, and lo and behold all the other systems work fluidly to deliver this man gifted with flight falls back down to earth in magnificent form.
Reboot your playstation and you may never get to see this treat ever again.
This is a video game of course, and these sorts of bugs only end up delighting the user.
Showstoppers in my daily bug list don't delight nearly so much. But there are those handful of little blemishes in many programs I use day to day that, once mastered and understood, become part of my expertise, I come to know them, and then end up noticing them more, as dimples on a familiar shoulder.
Impact, I suppose is the key measurement when considering whether we can smile at one of these hiccups or not. If it kicks me to the blue screen, it's not funny at all, but, if it just reminds me we're all a little uniquely off, hey, what's the harm?
Am I just trying to talk my way out of a repair?