It's not a bug, it's a feature

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Brogrammers get it right.
This actually is a bug.
Shortly after Google endorsed Firefox they worked to make their site not work with MSIE. Google image search is now "broken" on MSIE and they intend to keep it that way.

This is not in beta where the programmers plan to eventually fix something. This is when the programmers declare that they officially hate their end users and plan to never fix the problems in their code. Instead, users are forced to adapt to working around these "features." This is the case with the awful tabbed windows Firefox keeps trying to open things in, which people have adapted to so much, they now enjoy. Other examples include all software created by Microsoft or AOL. It is also seen in GNOME's absolute refusal to make screen savers configurable, to the point that they have written a multiple page explanation as to why it's actually a feature.

A similar phenomenon occurs in web design, where the designers make elements of their site work only in one browser (and not the same browser throughout the site either) or make their page 100% Flash.

It's not a bug, it's a feature. (sic)

What is a bug?

Back in the days when computers could only be transported by semi-trailers if you were lucky, one of these gigantic machines encountered an inexplicable error. After hours of trouble shooting, and about 25% hair loss, the problem was eventually found; apparently an insect had managed work it's way into a critical part of the computer. The insect was removed and everything returned to normal. From that point on, using the word "bug" to describe a technological fault became common place. How it became such a mainstream description is still a mystery because, at the time, the internets were so small that only Al Gore knew about them. Despite the lack of internets, some could argue that "bug" is the oldest meme the IT world has ever known.

When is a bug a feature?

When the developer has your money. By passing off something as a feature, the developer is able to avoid malpractice law suits and can continue perpetuating their shitty software. Of course, the laws of capitalism dictate that any business that has such crappy customer relations will go bankrupt, unless, of course, that business is Microsoft.

Microsoft and their features

Microsoft is famous for three things: 1. Windows 2. how obscenely rich Bill Gates is and 3. the blue screen of death. For the uninformed, the so called blue screen of death was Microsoft's FINAL SOLUTION. The blue screen was born when Bill Gates was so worried that they might not finish Windows 95 in time for the end of 1995 that he ordered his programmers to catch all unexplained errors with his newly invented blue screen. Like the illegal operation error message, the blue screen was manufactured to make the end users feel like they had done something wrong, in order to avoid massive amounts of users calling up tech support to scream into their headsets.

Some readers may be saying "DUH WHY DIDNT THEY JUST USE APPLE COMPOOTERS?" Well, the answer is simple: You are stupid enough to swallow everything Apple's ad-campaigns tell you. Think about it: if Apple computers were truly better in the 90's, don't you think that someone would have noticed? The truth is, Apple computers were just as shitty as Windows computers (and their mice only had one button), and no-one was willing to buy proprietary hardware that was just as shitty for $300 extra.

How features cause lulz

ED does it too

The world of computing has come a long way since the unstable nineties, but every so often an unannounced feature will manifest itself and many lulz will be had. You can extract lulz from features a number of ways. The easiest way is, when someone asks for help with a bug, just loudly proclaim that is indeed a feature. Another way to extract lulz from features is to track down skiddie scripts that will exploit the feature for you, and then e-mail them to the desired target (or, if you are a 1337 h4x0r, write the skiddie script yourself).

How to create features

Well, fittingly enough, dividing by zero in the code will cause your program to completely shit itself. There are over 9000 other ways, but they don't make for good reading.

As the testing community grows within the World, the expression is now seen as examples of developers' failure. Testers are now the link between programming and real life!

We testers now decide the difference between what the developers want and what the reality is!


It's not a bug, it's a feature is part of a series on Programming.

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