Great bug stories?


  • mod

    I'm putting together a presentation for this afternoon (last-minute, I know) about horror stories related to code defects, testing, et cetera. Anyone got some classic stories I should include? Preferably already front-pagified, I'll probably grab a few from the front page to start with.


  • sockdevs

    well if you want classic......

    you can't beat the first bug.





  • What about a horror story where an innocent bug about buttons being a different order on certain devices leading to an entire community being banned from the bug tracker? ;)
    You're a front page writer, I'm sure you can jazz it up a bit.


  • sockdevs

    @loopback0 said:

    What about a horror story where an innocent bug about buttons being a different order on certain devices leading to an entire community being banned from the bug tracker?

    well there was a bit more to it than that.

    if we're not frontpagifing it it was more about a clash of personalities.

    but that's one of those relevant bits of info that are always cut from frontpagifications


  • mod

    The hardest problem I'm having going through the front page archives is finding something that isn't too close to home for my devs XD



  • Are you saying that your devs are TR­:wtf:?





  • @accalia said:

    well there was a bit more to it than that.

    Facts :barrier: jokes.

    If @Yamikuronue explained the actual situation in the presentation, she'd be there all day and still wouldn't get to the actual presentation :laughing:



  • There's the classic mars-crasher-bug where some parts reported the height in feet and others interpreted the height as being in meters.

    I don't know which system, but in fortran the difference between

    do i=1,25
     ! Do something
    end do
    

    and

    do i=1.25
     ! Do something
    end do
    

    is quite severe.

    INB4: Eventually, someone is going to bring up the Ariane 5 crash. It might as well be me.



  • Another one (which is more about code re-use than defects):

    Mutant Marsupials Take Up Arms Against Australian Air Force

    The reuse of some object-oriented code has caused tactical headaches for Australia's armed forces. As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat training , programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism of the their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and — in the case of the Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix — herds of kangaroos (since groups of disturbed animals might well give away a helicopters position).

    The head of the Defense Science and Technology Organization's Land Operations/Simulations division reportedly instructed developers to model the local marsupials' movements and reaction to helicopters.

    Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code originally used to model infantry detachments reactions under the same stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and increased the figures' speed of movement.

    Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American pilots, the hotshot Aussies "buzzed" the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation. The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, and the Americans nodded appreciatively . . . and then did a double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a hill and launched a barrage of stinger missiles at the hapless helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten the remove "that" part of the infantry coding).

    The lesson? Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new object defined in terms of the old one inherits all the attributes. The embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing object-oriented code, and the Yanks left with the utmost respect for the Australian wildlife.

    Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onwards have strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.

    Source: http://www.snopes.com/humor/nonsense/kangaroo.asp


  • mod



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said:

    launched a barrage of stinger missilesbeachballs (the default sim object) at the hapless helicopter

    Read your sauce, dammit...



  • This reminds me of my final project in college. Use Unreal Tournament (this was 2001-2002) to build 3D architecture models like houses or buildings.

    Anyway, my team mate built the 10 story building with the UT editor and the appropriate textures while I hacked the game code to remove the HUD and the weapons and that sort of stuff. Fast forward to presentation day and one of the teachers falls from the building to a certain dead:

    Player X left a small crater.

    Yeah, I forgot to enable god mode.


  • sockdevs

    @rc4 said:

    Read your sauce, dammit...

    I'm not a medium.... can i eat the sauce instead?



  • @accalia said:

    can i eat the sauce instead?

    Only if you lick it



  • I think it may be more about where @Yamikuronue gets her "inspiration" from. :smiley:



  • If you don't at least mention Therac-25 you're :doing_it_wrong: .


  • sockdevs

    @Luhmann said:

    @accalia said:
    can i eat the sauce instead?

    Only if you lick it

    is there any particular technique you recommend for best results?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said:

    is there any particular technique you recommend for best results?

    Most people use their tongue when licking stuff.

    Sam Kinison used to suggest licking the alphabet.


  • sockdevs

    @FrostCat said:

    @accalia said:
    is there any particular technique you recommend for best results?

    Most people use their tongue when licking stuff.

    Sam Kinison used to suggest licking the alphabet.

    Right, but what is the proper technique for licking to achieve maximum enjoyment of the sauce?



  • About 10 years ago I was tasked to figure out why a certain piece of functionality was not working in our large system. The way it was supposed to work was you were supposed to add items to a list of selections by either browsing a tree or using the search function. A user would typically search the list of items, find the one to add to the list, and repeat until they've accumulated all they want to select, at which point they get to the next step. It sounds tedious, and it was, especially since this software was developed before AJAX and at the time we were only starting to adopt AJAX-y features and implement them piecemeal to the system.

    So, someone reported that this functionality just flat out stopped working, and the bug was assigned to me. It was a surprising bug, seeing that nothing anywhere near the code had been touched in months and it was a commonly used feature. The person who had originally developed this proved to be incompetent and possibly mentally unstable, so I had the joy of adopting her code after she was let gohad a mental breakdownfound her real true calling in life, which gave me a window into her messed up mind.

    It took a while to reproduce, but I finally realized that it only happened after you selected roughly 50 items. Most people typically selected, at most, 20 or so. After the 50th item, the entire page was blank. A trip to the server logs yielded nothing. I soon found out the server was returning a 414 error code: Request URI too long. A quick check of the address bar disclosed what was going on. Instead of storing the selected values in, say, cookies/sessions, or at the very least POST data, each selection was being appended to the URL... as an XML object. Each item in the query params was expressed as a roughly 150-character XML object containing the name, id, and other pointless information, all URL encoded and looking like a mess. The web server limited URLs to 8,000 bytes or so.

    I'll spare you the details of how she was appending the info on the HTML form and processing the result on the server side, but it was a huge WTF in its own right. I made a quick change to send this via POST parameters which brought the URL's size from an amazing 8 kilobytes down to roughly 30 bytes, then successfully convinced the boss to make this functionality the next on the queue to be converted to AJAX.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @accalia said:

    maximum enjoyment of the sauce?

    I believe I already covered that with my Sam Kinison comment.


    filed under: :giggity:

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    No emoji in link text?


  • Impossible Mission Players - A


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Oh, well, sure, if you're going to do it that way.


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