Welcome to the Bughouse
Use the category links above or jump to the Table of Contents to access:
Who I am
The bug reports you will read are very much toned down from what the readers actually submitted. Users are really, really angry about these. In many cases, they have tried to report these problems over the years, only to face insurmountable barriers.
Programmers come in for a lot of criticism in these letters, many written by other programmers. In reality, management is responsible for any and all lack of quality in products and services. They set the tone. They make the rules. They get no less quality than they demand. However, that does not let programmers off the hook:
I come from the early Apple culture, where no one, not even an engineering manager, could keep us from achieving excellence. Others have been raised in a different culture, where mediocrity is not only expected, but encouraged, in the false belief it saves money. It does, but only the engineering department. Technical support ends up needing all that money and more to fend off the unhappy customers.
Excellence can be achieved under even the most trying of management. Right now, particularly on the web, we often aren't even measuring up to rank mediocrity. For the sake of our own pride, we can and must do better. Look at the pandemic bugs, look at the bugs more specific to your product or service. Search for your company or product name using the search box above. How are you measuring up?
Write the developers, not me.
It took me more than a month, working 40+ hours per week, to put the Bughouse together. Hence my entreaty, "don't write" unless you are prepared to take over. I can do no more. (You may also want to check out The Risks Digest for more bugs and a way to speak out about them.)
A business Opportunity
I received over 1 million hits the first day the first "Ten Most Wanted" column was on line. The onslaught effectively shut down our servers. This subject has struck a nerve. People are sick and tired of engineering managers ignoring design problems in favor of coding bugs and "creeping featuritis." They want a place to post design bugs where developers can no longer ignore them.
The industry could stand such a steady source of light on the problem. Quality in the software industry would be unacceptable in almost any other walk of life. (Can you imagine a car or airplane that would "crash" ever few days or so?)
A business opportunity exists for an advertising-supported, user-maintained site similar to epinions, etc., devoted to letting people give off steam about their products and voting on which bugs bug them the most. If you are interested in starting such a site, the Bughouse can be all yours.
How the Bughouse came to be
In December 2004, I published one very simple column entitled “10 Most Wanted Persistent Bugs.” I supplied seven original bugs and asked that readers send in the other three. More than 300 people responded, with over 130 unique bugs. I found only four with which I took issue. A few other submissions were really more in the nature of new feature requests. I prepared for publication the entire balance, which appear here. In case of duplicate entries, the earliest submission about a bug won.