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?

7 comments:

Richard K said...

"No more security holes in ..." and "No more bugs in ..." -- you're dreaming!

House builders do not guarantee your new house will never be broken into; nor do car manufacturers guarantee your car will always start first time or will never breakdown. And neither the grower, nor supermarket guarantees you won't find a worm in your apple. Why should we expect software to be perfect?

Richard

Babnik said...

Yes, although if I buy my car and it doesn't start first time after a week or two, you take it back, and you don't want it back until it runs perfectly.

Anonymous said...

This new "law" can affect seriously the business. Software products may become more and more expensive, and small developers may be out of the market. Seems an insane law, may be those who proposed it knows nothing about software.

Max said...

I wonder whether this will apply to freeware and open source code. If so, this will surely make some of us a bit hesitant about such releases.

Max

Anonymous said...

Try regionally locked software, just like regionally locked DVDs.

Oh, and no more software for the EU region ever again.

Developers aren't insane.

mart said...

actually most house builders give you gurantee(at least in europe), that they fix all the "bugs" found during 1-3 years (depending on the contract).
Also car builders give you guarantee (for example hyundai gives you 5 years guarantee!).
Even the shoe manufactures must give you guarantee!
Only ones who doesn't give you any guarantee are software developers. Most of their licenses even say that if they f*ck up your computer, then they are not responsible...
This consumer protection could be good thing if done right. No more software developers who instead of fixing bugs, roll out new version (CodeGear i'm looking at you).
Of course if it's done wrong, it could have terrible results...

Stefaan Lesage said...

No more bugs ... well, I have to agree with Richard on this, keep on dreaming ...

Someone once said to me : 'The last bug is the one you havn't discovered yet' and I think thats very well said.

Regards,


Stefaan