Re: Bad advice on confirming the existence of bugs.
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.