Xah's Edu Corner: the bug-reporting attitude

Xah Lee xah at xahlee.org
Mon Jan 2 16:16:26 EST 2006

The Bug-Reporting Attitude

Xah Lee, 2005-02, 2006-01


There is a common behavior among people in software geek forums, that
whenever a software is crashing or behaving badly, they respond by
“go file a bug report” as if it is the duty of software consumers.

When a software is ostensibly incorrect, and if it is likely in
connection to egregious irresponsibility as most software companies are
thru their irresponsible licensing, the thing one should not do is to
fawn up to their ass as in filing a bug report, and that is also the
least effective in correcting the software.

The common attitude of bug-reporting is one reason that contributed to
the tremendous egregious irresponsible fuckups in computer software
industry that each of us have to endure daily all the time. (e.g.
software A clashed, software B can't do this, C can't do that, D i
don't know how to use, E download location broken, F i need to join
discussion group to find a work-around, G is all pretty and
dysfunctional... )

When a software is ostensibly incorrect and when the organization
behind it is irresponsible with its licensing, the most effective and
moral attitude is to do legal harm to the legal entity. This one can do
by filing a law suit or spreading the fact. Filing a law suit is
appropriate in severe and serious cases, and provided you have such
devotion to the cause. For most cases, we should just spread the fact.
When the organization sees facts flying about its incompetence or
irresponsibility, it will immediately mend the problem source, or cease
to exist.

Another harm sprang from the fucking bug-reporting attitude rampant
among IT morons is the multiplication of pop-ups that bug users for
bug-reporting, complete with their privacy legalese infomercial

2006-01 Addendum

• In early 2005 or late 2004, OS X's Safari browser contains a button
on the top right that is use to send bugs to Apple. As late as 2006-01
in Safari 2.0.2, one can turn on the send bug button by right clicking
on the toolbar. (screenshot).

• In about 2004-2005, every Mac OS X's tool bar has a Quality
Feedback button for user to report problems and suggestions to Apple.
Mac fanatics are fanatical about reporting bugs back to Apple.

• In 2004-2005, the Adium multi-chat client for OS X will popup a
dialogue box whenever it crashes, and ask the user whether if he wishes
to report the bug.

• In 2005, Microsoft Windows XP will popup a dialogue box when a
program crashed, and will ask the user about whether she want to report
it back to Microsoft.

• In 2005, the Open Sourced Netscape/FireFox browser will auto-start
a separate bug-report program whenever it crashed, and will bother the
user about whether to report the bug.

Much of these harassment come with technical notices and or privacy
legalese, that assures the user nothing personal is being sent or
collected. Some will also contain an option to turn this
user-contribution auto-solicitation off for good, but not all.

These bug-reporting phenomenon didn't start until early 21st century.
Such direct user intrusion was unknown or unthinkable in 1990s. Part of
the reason of their rise can be attributed by a few factors: (1) the
mainstreaming of the internet. (2) The collectivism and fanaticism
ushered by Open Sourcers. (3) The fanaticism ushered by Mac fanatics.
Group (2) and (3) are largely incompatible, but each lives in their
utopian vision.

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