Sunday, 10 May 2009

Consumer Protection

The European Commission is proposing wants to make developers, liable for their own code. When they say developers, I guess they mean the actual company that releases the software, rather than the individual developer.

I have mixed feelings about this. As a developer, this would mean a fundamental change in the way we do things. It will probably stifle innovation, as new developments will become increasingly expensive. As a user, I’d welcome it. No more security holes in Microsoft browsers, and more importantly to me, no more bugs in my favourite IDE, Delphi. At the very least, companies would have to be more responsive with their bug fix updates (hint, hint Codegear. I’m still waiting for update 3. At this rate though, the EC will have passed their law, and Codegear will have to release their update!)

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Have we, as developers, had it too easy? Have we relied on our users to find our bugs?

Sunday, 3 May 2009


I’ve been using Delphi 2009 for about a month now, and for the most part I’m happy. Unfortunately that’s only because when you’ve been disappointed so many times, you’re grateful when you get an IDE that doesn’t crash every 5 minutes. Seriously though, so far so good. (one thing is driving me nuts though. I’ll post about it later)

So there are a few bugs. I’m a developer, and I’ve been around long enough to know that every piece of software, however good the process and the people behind it, has bugs. So I’m under no illusions here. While no bugs would be nice, I know it’s not realistic. But here’s my gripe of the day! Why does it take so long to fix the bugs?

Whilst I expect bugs in a product, I don’t expect to wait 6 months after it’s release, for those bugs to be fixed. Some of the bugs I’ve found in TDictionary lead me to believe the code was not tested. Already not a very good sign. But hey, things fall through the cracks, we’re only human right? The thing is some of those bugs are so easy to fix, that any junior developer, just out of college, could find them, and fix them in an afternoon. So why 6 months later, are we still waiting? I don’t understand it?

And it’s not like Codegear don’t know about these bugs. They’ve been reported in Quality Central for a while. Oh and that’s another thing. If you’re going to charge me for your software (fair enough), and then use me as a tester,  please, oh please make it easy for me to tell you about bugs in your software. I have to go to the Codegear website. If I’m lucky, I’ve got my username and password written on a piece of paper somewhere, if not, I have to click on the lost password link. Wait for the email, fish it out from my spam folder. Then I’m not sure what you have to do, because I never got that far. Why can’t I just highlight some code in Delphi, right click, and choose report a bug. Put in a little description, and that’s it? You have my details as I use a registered copy.

As you can tell, I’m impatiently waiting for update 3? Where is it guys?