Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

“File A Bug”

Marco Arment:

I’ve filed 15 bugs since 2009. Of those:

  • 8 have been marked as duplicates. All but two of the “origin” bugs remain open, despite two actually being fixed. Another two very different feature requests were marked as duplicates of the same origin, and since I can’t see the title of the origin, I have no way to know if either was a mischaracterization.
  • 6 have never received any kind of response and remain open.
  • 1 had Apple request a sample project, which I provided, then got no further response (and is still open).

I have a slightly larger sample size to draw from, but with similar results. Of 151 bugs filed since 2010:

  • 58 have been marked as duplicates;
  • 11 have been marked with “insufficient information” (though many of these are mis-marked and have sufficient information);
  • 10 have been marked as “behaves correctly”;
  • 34 remain open;
  • 38 have been closed for other reasons, or remain open but are not under the “Open” tab of the Bug Reporter.

It’s frustrating to be asked to recreate specific test cases and have very little in the way of followup, or to have the bug unceremoniously closed. The only time I’ve had reasonable dialogue when reporting bugs is during betas, when I will be asked whether an issue has been fixed in the latest version. But for most other software, this is a rarity, and bugs have remained in some kind of limbo for years.

Then again, I’m a designer, and not an engineer. Most of the bugs I’ve filed have been to point out UI design issues or functionality problems. If this is frustrating for me, imagine a developer trying to grapple with an extremely buggy API.