Open Source Software Quality Problems

This post was written by marc on July 29, 2006
Posted Under: Technology

I love open source software and have contributed to the development of several projects. But open source has a down side in that there are no customers to answer to – and that creates an environment where bugs go unfixed and necessary features go un added. After all, how much can you pressure someone who is programming for free?

Case in point. I love Firefox but I’m finding myself having to use IE more because Firefox is broken. It’s been broken ever since Version 1.5 and now 5 releases later – still broken. The problem – it stopped recognizing the URL refresh tag in the header that allows web pages to redirect you to other web pages. So when I go to my online bank account I have to use IE to log in. I’ve left bug reports as well as seeing those of others with the same problem – but the issue isn’t getting fixed.

Second case, the Apache web server – the most powerful and widely used web server on the planet. I just upgraded to version 2.2 from 2.0 and mod speling no longer works. It used to make URLs case insensitive but if the path doesn’t match then the URL breaks. It used to work but now it doesn’t.

You would think that the Apache and Linux community would finally figure out how to make a file system case insensitive but after 15 years Linux has yet to catch up with DOS/Windows who have had case insensitivity working since 1981.

The problem is what I call VI conscientiousness. It’s a mindset caused by brain damage as a result of using the Unix vi editor. Vi is an editor that is so bad that I refuse to learn it. It causes permanent brain damage and makes people think that a files named “moron” and “Moron” should be two different files. And it’s the same mindset that makes programmers not give a damn about software quality. And thats why Firefox and Apache are broken and Linux is still stuck in the case sensitive file system mode.

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.