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Author Topic: Top 20 replies by Programmers to Testers when their programs don't work
Snaggy

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Icon 12 posted November 27, 2006 12:48      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Top 20 replies by Programmers to Testers when their programs don't work
Posts: 8111 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 27, 2006 13:02      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some of those sound very familiar...

18. "It worked yesterday."
Of a bug that only shows when run on the last day of the month.

16. "It must be a hardware problem."
It was, kind of. A peripheral device needed by the program was plugged into the wrong power adaptor. 12V device, 6V adaptor.

14. "There is something funky in your data."
The test data had been prepared with an editor that replaced multiple spaces by tabs.

13. "I haven't touched that module in weeks!"
I hadn't, which leads us to...

12. "You must have the wrong version."
She did.

6. "Did you check for a virus on your system?"
He'd recently returned from a trip to Malaysia, with a box full of pirate software...

1. "It works on my machine"
It did.
DLL Hell.

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted November 27, 2006 13:22      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The #20 - "That's weird" I am regularly guilty of, usually followed by #1 - "It worked on my machine" which now leads me to check permissions on folders or databases.

(Working for the web prevent all version problems, although I had one nice encouter where a link was written with a javascript then repeated later on. I had corrected the plain one, didn't catch the javascript - the string I searched the source on was concatenated. I even went on to clean the server cache before catching it.)

Oh, and having had to debug a long and complicated program not written by me, please, if you ever dynamically allocate array memory by blocks, check for boundary overflow! [crazy] (Took me months to solve - I had to learn using Mainframe first, and I had other tasks too. On the bright side, the others who had tried their hands on it before me had given up.)

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted November 27, 2006 13:59      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"5. "Even though it doesn't work, how does it feel?"

I like that one. [Smile]

I've surely used a whole lot of them...*sigh*

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 27, 2006 14:08      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The reply I got when one of our IT guys finally got around to a complaint I had: "Be patient. The machine isn't that fast."

The back story: we got some new computers in the x-ray lab and a former student came back to set the crystallography software up. Then he went back to UCLA and I was dispatched with the orders to beat the shit out of the system and see what's wrong (trust me, if anyone can break a new computer, it would be me). I came up with a laundry list which I handed over to our main dude to hand over to the guy at UCLA (hereby known as J). Among my complaints was the system hanging up on a relativiely simple job. A couple days later, I was told that J had gone in and more or less refurbished his original installation and everything should be fine. And it was/is. Incredibly fine. Blindingly fine. Almost fine enough to make some of the shit I have to do on those computers actually enjoyable (but not quite...but the blame for that rests entirely on my data and not the computers).

About ten days ago I got a message forwarded to me from the main x-ray dude. J had, since fixing everything, gitten aournd to the specifics of my list. And, now that everything was more or less fixed, my list was now irrelevant. [Roll Eyes]

In all fairness, the IT dudes who keep the x-ray facility are really nice and I've never gotten the "you're a luser" vibe from them. Maybe they're dazzled by the equipment and pretty pictures we have down there.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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quantumfluff
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Icon 12 posted November 27, 2006 14:10      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"5. "Even though it doesn't work, how does it feel?"
I asked my wife that same question last night.
Posts: 2902 | From: 5 to 15 meters above sea level | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
business attire
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted November 27, 2006 15:06      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ba-dump chhhh.
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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted November 28, 2006 09:23      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
quote:
"5. "Even though it doesn't work, how does it feel?"
I asked my wife that same question last night.
Funny, I asked your wife that last night too...

Sorry, it was practically begging to be said. [Wink]

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Doco

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Icon 1 posted November 28, 2006 17:28      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yup - used virtually every one of them. TFD's backstories sound a lot like mine too. Although I have a lot of wierd ass hardware problems I've run into over the years - but I do embedded stuff on custom hardware so sometimes we are debugging hardware and software at the same time.

BUT - I would say that my top 15 list of statements (questions) to the testers are: (I couldn't come up with 20 right now)

1) What version of the software / firmware / FPGA / hardware are you using?

2) Are you sure? i.e. did you really check the version numbers and are you sure someone else didn't swap something on your system?

3) Are you really really sure?

4) What action did you do just before the system broke down?

5) Are you sure?

6) Where is the log of the commands you did just before the system broke down?

7) You say it look 10 or 20 seconds - did you use a timer / watch / clock or just estimate it? (I had a tester that complained any response that took more than 1500ms was "too slow" and took at least 10 or 20 or 30 seconds....)

8) Did you run the dump routine that collects information about the system?

9) Where is the core dump file?

10) Where is the bug report for that?

11) If it "reboots all the time" or "is completly unstable" - why haven't I gotten one bug report about a crash from you?

12) "Traffic go to heaven" is NOT an accurate description of what happened.

13) One line bug reports do not contain enough information to reproduce a problem.

14) I don't care if you like blue better than red - the requirement says red. If you don't like that, take it up with the guy who wrote the requirement (i.e. the boss)

15) Of course it works that way and you would know that if you would read the damn spec.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted November 28, 2006 17:56      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I got a good reply today about a bug I wrote up nearly a year ago:

"This bug was written up a long time ago and never fixed. Please verify that the bug still exists."

The software faries hadn't fixed it while they weren't looking, so it still existed. [Roll Eyes]

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted November 28, 2006 20:38            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Software fairies"? I wish [Razz]

It's like ... PHP, if you ask to change a page's status code using header('HTTP...') or header('Location: ...'), it sends back broken status lines. For example, 'HTTP/1.0 404'. That is illegal, there must be a second space at least. Discovered and reported in 2004, still unfixed to this day.

header('Status: ...') works, but they don't bloody bother writing this in the manual do they?

I think the number one answer to most bugs is "Fuck off, we don't care" (normally represented as silence or stupid excuses). And that's depressing and frustrating. It's always nice to find developers who do care and do sort out bugs.

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csk

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Icon 1 posted November 29, 2006 00:38      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
I got a good reply today about a bug I wrote up nearly a year ago:

"This bug was written up a long time ago and never fixed. Please verify that the bug still exists."

The software faries hadn't fixed it while they weren't looking, so it still existed. [Roll Eyes]

Hmm, back when I was a dev, there was a magic little phrase called "reproduce" which meant that you couldn't reproduce it, and you wanted the tester to do it again to see if they could. All the esoteric stuff mainly got flicked straight back to the test team [Wink]

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6 weeks to go!

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted November 29, 2006 03:40      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
csk wrote:
]Hmm, back when I was a dev, there was a magic little phrase called "reproduce" which meant that you couldn't reproduce it, and you wanted the tester to do it again to see if they could. All the esoteric stuff mainly got flicked straight back to the test team [Wink]

No, this was just a programmer trying to get rid of bugs by kicking them back and hoping they've magically gone away. There's actually no way to avoid the bug if it is tested it because it's a licensing restriction that has been applied to a read only viewer that is supposed to be freely usable without a license.

Our license restriction code is very solid and impossible to work around, so I get to hand out $1,500 licenses like candy to trick-or-treaters when customers ask. You'd think that would be enough incentive to fix it. [Roll Eyes]

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 29, 2006 13:10      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
Hmm, back when I was a dev, there was a magic little phrase called "reproduce" which meant that you couldn't reproduce it, and you wanted the tester to do it again to see if they could.

I always thought that was just a thinly-veiled way of telling the tester to "get fscked"

--------------------
If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
Discontinued


Icon 1 posted November 29, 2006 13:43            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nah, for me it's pretty frustrating to not be able to reproduce or explain a bug that someone's experiencing. I'm pretty sure it's real, it may well be my fault, but it works for me ...

Most bugs seem to be like that, always conditional on something that no-one's identified. One of the reasons that some people believe in software having as few options and features as possible: a smaller number of code paths (lower odds of there being sneaky bad ones) and less chances of there being shady configurations that don't work.

But what is also frustrating is when I can't reproduce a bug, but I think I've identified the cause, I reply with a test copy to see if it solves it, and I never hear from them again. So, did it help? Was that not the cause of the problem after all? After a months I just post that version officially anyway and just run with the assumption that I fixed it.

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Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted November 30, 2006 08:13      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Inserts Ive used or recived for/from my kids in my beginning computer class I teach.


20. "That's weird..."
Yes, you got a BSOD on a linux machine (No this isnt true, but still if it was possible...)

19. "It's never done that before."
How many times have you used this before (this was with a word document that didnt do a line wrap.

18. "It worked yesterday."
What did you do on it between yesterday and today?

16. "It must be a hardware problem."
Or just a software config problem (ok this isnt from my class, but is often used when Im out looking at someones computer.)

14. "There is something funky in your data."
Ok, why are you arguing with the person who assigns your grades...

12. "You must have the wrong version."
Yes, its one ahead of yours (for what the lab machines use for this schedule program)

11. "It's just some unlucky coincidence."
No comment (put this in perspective of a teacher, and youll get this joke)

10. "I can't test everything!"
Well, I cant grade everything...

8. "It works, but it hasn't been tested."
So if it fails, I fail you.

5. "Even though it doesn't work, how does it feel?
(I had someone actually try to pull something on me like this when we covered hardware that computers were alive, then again, I had just started on AI for computers...)

4. "You can't use that version on your system."
(See previous note on versions)

3. "Why do you want to do it that way?"
Cuz Im grading it that way.

2. "Where were you when the program blew up?"
In Daniels Lab (this is a computer lab on campus, also the building where we have class)

1. "It works on my machine"
Yes, and you were using a lab machine, not what Im grading with (I grade off my laptop which is WinXP, the lab machines are linux redhat)

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Use the Force, Luke.

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quantumfluff
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted November 30, 2006 09:55      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Luke Skywalker:
1. "It works on my machine"
Yes, and you were using a lab machine, not what Im grading with (I grade off my laptop which is WinXP, the lab machines are linux redhat)

Yup. I enforce a strict rule at my company. If another engineer can't check out the code, type 'make' and have a working product, you're not allowed to pass it on to QA and shipping.
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