Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

28 Jan 2007, 11:49 a.m.

MC Masala on Fallibility and Bug Tracking

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2007 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

My column this week remembers a tough bug to reactivate.

Which bug tracker would God use?

It is one of the sillier questions I've asked. In computer programming, we use special programs to keep track of the problems (bugs) we have to fix, because we are not gods. Humans make mistakes writing code, and our memories fail when we try to remember the mistakes to fix them later.

Still, the joke has come up around the lunch table: The imperfections of the world exist because God's not using a bug tracker. Prayers would be feature requests, bug reports or inquiries. "Please help me get this job.""My dad is sick." "Why, God, why?"

Would God want to write the whole bug-tracker from scratch? Well, of course: Anything humans made couldn't possibly work at the scale of billions of users. Would it be bristling with features, or would it be elegant and Apple-esque? Would God track mostly internal maintenance tasks or customer service requests?