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Re: Computer Program Errors

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In a message dated 5/18/99 9:32:33 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
merrickgroup(--nospam--at) writes:

<< The above are only for discussion and must not be 
 considered or used as opinion. The list is 
 incomplete and is intended only to understand that 
 a remedy may be needed for commercial programs. >>

First off, I'd get rid of this disclaimer. I don't think it holds water 
unless you intend only to play Devils Advocate to any discussion. Otherwise, 
I would consider it your opinion. Don't jump, I mean it kindly.

You have a valid argument. Is this all from one program????? 

Companies have mixed opinions about announcing bugs in their programs. One 
company believes it can and will be used against them by competition. Others 
believe that it does their users a service. I agree with the later - it is in 
the best interest of the users to know that an error in a program is treated 
honestly by the developer. Most important is the developers response to the 
Even more important is to identify if it is a common bug or one that is very 
limited and more difficult to correct (like a hardware conflict that crashes 
a program). Is the bug serious - does it prevent accurate use of the program 
or the ability to print results or is it more cosmetic.
The errors that you describe are serious but may not all be errors. What if 
the results you look for are simply concealed in program rather than visible 
for confirmation. This may be a poor choice but not necessarily a bug.

Let's assume for the moment that every one of your list is a bug - an error 
and the developer is aware of each one and has not addressed or corrected 
them. Short of suing, I would assume that the developer will ultimately not 

I am one who is extremely cautious about lableing a program as buggy. There 
are so many variables that can justify a design. It may not be a good design 
but it also does not constitute an error in programing. If you can prove that 
the results are inaccurate and have not received resolution to the issue, you 
might consider legal action.

One thing that I would avoid is using a public forum to try a developer of a 
product. The developer should have the same rights to defend his work as we 

These are only cautionary statements and not intended to suggest that you do 
nothing. Just be very sure of any allegations that you or anyone intends to 
make publically.

Dennis Wish PE