Bad advice on confirming the existence of bugs.

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Bad advice on confirming the existence of bugs.

Mark S. Miller-2
On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 10:20 AM, Alex Vincent <[hidden email]> quoted:

--
"The first step in confirming there is a bug in someone else's work is confirming there are no bugs in your own."
-- Alexander J. Vincent, June 30, 2001


I rarely comment on these incidental aphorisms, but this one is so wrong that it is worth pointing out. You can confirm the existence of many bugs by 
  * demonstration via failing test case, 
  * finding the bug, 
  * having a plausible explanation for why it is incorrect, 
  * writing a fix with a plausible explanation for why it fixes the problem, and
  * demonstrating that the fix repairs the demonstrated test case. 

However hard this is, it is vastly easier than confirming that there are no bugs in your own code.

--
    Cheers,
    --MarkM

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Re: Bad advice on confirming the existence of bugs.

Mike Samuel

On Aug 4, 2016 11:57 AM, "Mark S. Miller" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 10:20 AM, Alex Vincent <[hidden email]> quoted:
>>
>>
>> --
>> "The first step in confirming there is a bug in someone else's work is confirming there are no bugs in your own."
>> -- Alexander J. Vincent, June 30, 2001
>
>
>
> I rarely comment on these incidental aphorisms, but this one is so wrong that it is worth pointing out. You can confirm the existence of many bugs by 
>   * demonstration via failing test case, 
>   * finding the bug, 
>   * having a plausible explanation for why it is incorrect, 
>   * writing a fix with a plausible explanation for why it fixes the problem, and
>   * demonstrating that the fix repairs the demonstrated test case. 
>
> However hard this is, it is vastly easier than confirming that there are no bugs in your own code.

The latter requires a closed definition of "bug," but the former can be done using an open definition.

> --
>     Cheers,
>     --MarkM
>
> _______________________________________________
> es-discuss mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/es-discuss
>


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