Bugfix time

In the world of development, there are whole series of processes that developers follow in the design, implementation, testing, and release of all code that they write. A lot of this process is to force the underlying structure of the programs to be fully designed, so that the developer is able to create the best code possible for the task, rather than trying to wrangle a solution from a rapid-fire set of constantly changing criteria (read: scope creep).

Once the software is released, the same processes govern the ongoing life cycle of the product as far as patches and support. When the support guys find (through their conversations with those who use the program daily) that there is a bug that never showed up in alpha or beta tests, the bug is reported to the developers, who look for the root of he issue, and if possible, issue a code change to repair the issue that does not interfere with the workings of the rest of the product. This is where terms like “Windows updates”, “patch Tuesday”, and the like come from. As the more intricate and feature-rich programs are bugfixed, there comes about a full release schedule for patches and service packs, where they are rolled out to the public on a consistent basis.

I was reading LXer, and came across this story:

Today at 11:04am (GMT, or Greenwich Time), Debian developer Erich Schubert reported about a bug in Serendipity. According to his blog, it took him 10 minutes to close it, and he reported it to the guys over at Serendipity.

And at 12:09pm (GMT), another Debian developer named Thijs Kinkhorst had uploaded a corrected version from upstream to Debian unstable, and he already found out that Sarge and Etch were not affected.

75 minutes – wow. You guys rock. As does free software in general.

The beauty of open source software is the free and open access to the code (it isn’t locked away and held as a secret), allowing anyone who knows the programming language access to change it and an option to make it even better. Not to mention the focus on community. This OS and software were built for free, mainly on a pro bono basis. The projects grew out of engineering a solution for a computing need, and is the culmination of many many hours of their free time. They want to share. They don’t stick a price tag on it, they just share. Go ahead and take a bite. The stuff rocks!