[nSLUG] I am reluctant to file any more bugs until those already reported are fixed.
odoepner at gmail.com
Mon Jul 20 15:49:57 ADT 2015
I don't see how your email relates to Nova Scotia Linux User Group.
You make long-winded sweeping statements about the software industry.
What kind of conversation are you looking for?
On Wed, Jul 15, 2015 at 4:23 AM, Michael David Crawford <
mdcrawford at gmail.com> wrote:
> I posted this just now to xcode-users at apple.com and
> cocoa-dev at apple.com; at the end is my mail to Richard Stallman in
> which I point out that Free Software suffers the same problems.
> Please understand that I do not wish to get anyone in trouble. It is
> common for heads to roll over product defects. That is not even
> remotely my objective.
> To be perfectly clear: this is a widespread, systemic problem in many
> industries but in my own experience and that of many others it is
> particularly bad in the computer industry.
> The problem I see is that users pay for features not for quality.
> That's what users believe anyway; it's not hard to convince them
> otherwise but it's uncommon for high-tech products to obtain market
> share because they are good, rather they succeed because they are
> first to market.
> I once consulted for Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications because they
> once owned the smartphone market with Windows CE devices but then
> Apple ate their lunch with the iPhone due to Sony Ericsson's poor
> I have many gripes with Apple's product but this eMail is not the
> place to discuss them. However I request that Apple's engineers and
> managers read every Radar bug I have ever filed -
> mdcrawford at gmail.com, also from my amcc.com and atimi.com Apple IDs.
> I was a Senior Engineer working in the role of "Debug Meister" for
> Apple's Traditional OS Integration team in 1995 and 1996; despite my
> love for my work I requested an internal transfer to PowerBooks
> because I gave up all hope that our bugs would all be fixed. I was
> offered an internal transfer to Copland but declined it because I had
> the sense that Copland would never ship.
> While I was at first hired as a contract Script Monkey for MacTCP
> 1.0.1 in 1989, I was able to get sign-off to debug the test tool
> because, as my Newfie ex-wife would say, "strm_echo was a piece of
> I went on to find a code generation bug in the MPW C compiler; while
> regressing it I found that increasing the number of characters in
> certain source code symbols led MPC C to crash. To be clear: my
> program didn't crash, MPW C crashed while building my source.
> A couple years later I received a developer CD whose MPW release notes
> clearly explained my bug then said "Don't do that".
> By then I was with Working Software; it was on the ropes when I hired
> on, and ultimately failed because my predecessor made a piece of work
> out of QuickLetter, sued Working Software for failing to pay his
> ransom but lost, stole the source code then shipped a competing
> products with many of the exact same bugs as QuickLetter had at the
> time he left the company.
> In 1993 I wrote data analysis code for a particle physics experiment
> at CERN. I required seven weeks to come to grip with CERNLIB and its
> associated tools such as PATCHY, sort of like a cross-platform JCL
> only undead exhumed and reanimated. I required three days to write my
> own patch then four days to run my Monte Carlo simulation that
> calculated the acceptance, or sensitivity of our detector.
> Particle physicist require all manner of software but are hardly ever
> to actually obtain any. Every law of physics other than general
> relativity - gravity - is to be found in CERNLIB yet despite decades
> of wandering its Gordian Labyrinth I have yet to actually find any.
> When my own patch was cooked and so ready to serve I asked my
> collaboration's grad students and postdocs to have a look at my
> source. At the time I was still an undergraduate but had worked in
> the software industry for six years. They were all stunned at my
> FORTRAN source's eloquence and beauty.
> "The reason particle physics software is so hard," I growled angrily,
> "is that YOU PHYSICISTS MAKE IT HARD!"
> After Vietnam my father left the Navy, studied for his MSEE at the
> University of Idaho in Moscow then worked as a Civil Service engineer
> at Mare Island Naval Shipyard until he retired at thirty.
> He wrote test plans.
> Nothing but test plans, by hand on paper with a ball-point pen.
> Here's what happens if you don't get your test plans right:
> The Sinking of the USS Gitarro
> (Actually "Guitarro")
> What I usually tell people is that "Someone sunk a submarine at the
> height of the Vietnam War because he didn't read the instructions".
> In reality, someone sunk a submarine because his test plan failed to
> provide the instructions.
> There is lots more I could say but I will write up a more compelling
> argument than post it at:
> Solving the Software Problem
> a Taxonomy of Error
> However I will close with the mail I sent to Richard Stallman just now.
> He is quite diligent with his email; in 1990 I had the idea he could
> tell me how to get connected to the Internet. His reply? "If you
> don't have a place to just plug in I really don't know."
> The ancient Greek play "Lysistrata" portrays some women who put a stop
> to a war by refusing to make love to their men. This has actually
> been done several times, once recently in south america but I don't
> recall the details. I would be happy to produce the [needed citation]
> but not just now as my dialup doesn't really work.
> The problems I see with poor quality - not just in software but
> hardware as well - are not specific to any one codebase. It is
> widespread in Free Software, Open Source and proprietary software.
> For years I have worked diligently to advise others of ways they can
> fix their code, as well as why they should do so. My articles, essays
> as well as mailing list and message board posts are quite popular but
> also controversial in that there are many who do not welcome my
> message of quality.
> Quite a serious problem is that some of these faults are in systems
> used by law enforcement. For example some clever fellow escaped from
> prison by sending an email to an employee at his prison. Again I
> don't recall all the details but would be happy to dig them up.
> Similarly innocent people go to jail or even prison because of software
> My jocular outlook on life frequently leads to my own arrest. Not the
> last time I was in the slammer but the time just before that, I was
> promptly ordered released on my own recognizance - that is, without
> bail. Even so I was detained for five more months before my case was
> completely dismissed. I think the world of the Clark County,
> Washington Sheriff's Deputies but they were unwilling to release me
> until they received my release order themselves, which somehow got
> dropped on the floor.
> No doubt you've seen Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". That's happening in
> real life this days and with increasing frequency and severity.
> I could detail the problems I experience but there are so many. It's
> not just me; consider that Mozilla stored its email in a proprietary,
> compressed database. I lost my email database when my filesystem
> filled up. I did report the bug at http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/ but
> when I did so I found many other reports as well as gnashing of teeth
> because that bug had been reported years before but not fixed.
> While the Mozilla developers - not just the Mozilla corporation but
> its unpaid volunteers - are among the more-egregious offenders there
> are many others.
> Other problems are the introduction of "features" that I and others
> regard as bug, and the deprecation of features that I and others
> depend on for our livelihoods.
> I am well aware of the Free Software community's opposition to Apple's
> proprietary code, vendor lock-in and other evildoing but at least at
> one time, Apple Computer produced very high-quality products.
> But no more, and not for a long time.
> I discuss this in:
> Apple's Deep Insight Into User Interface Design
> The bug I found in 2012 was trivial to reproduce, however the steps to
> reproduce it are quite obscure. While I could help Apple fix just
> that one bug by filing a report at http://bugreport.apple.com/ what I
> really want is for Apple to clamp down on all the hookers and blow
> that are readily available within Infinite Loop.
> Again: these are widespread problems. I find examples almost
> everywhere I look. Free Software is no exception.
> My satirical writing and my harsh, confrontive criticism in meatspace
> aren't doing the job. Recently I attempt gentle diplomacy. To some
> extent that seems to help, but I'm just one person.
> Can you help in any way, or recommend something or someone else who can?
> Ever Faithful,
> Michael David Crawford, Consulting Software Engineer
> mdcrawford at gmail.com
> While Every Deity hath the Insight to Foretell the Future
> Even G-d Almighty Himself Possesseth Not the Power to Undo the Past.
> nSLUG mailing list
> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
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