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When is good enough really good enough November 7, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Mary Jo Foley wrote an article ‘When is good enough really good enough”. It was a pretty good article. I expect Steven J Vaughn-Nichols to come back with an editorial on why now is the time to switch to Linux and reference the 64,000 bug quote in Mary Jo’s article as a reason. I do think Microsoft has done a great job with SQL 2005 and VS 2005. I beta tested both products and can’t wait to get the RTM of VS 2005. As for Mini-Microsofts blog entry on the bugs in VS 2005, I really havent stumbled on anything that slowed me down in my environment. Not saying that the bugs dont exist, Im sure they do but its something I havent experienced. But back to Mary Jo’s question. Should Microsoft have shipped earlier? Hell no. If they shipped it earlier there probably would have been many bugs that went unfixed and Microsoft’s competitors would probably have used that as fuel to fan a “Microsoft sucks” fire. Microsoft has done a good job lengthening the time to release and I am one that thinks its not who makes it to market first but who released the better product. Look at Tiger, on my Mac system I have already had the equivalent of 3 service packs released in less than a year

One of Microsoft’s shortcomings was its release of Windows XP to Windows 2000 Pro. You see Microsoft really screwed up the release of Windows ME. Windows ME absolutely sucked. If Microsoft had done a better job with Windows ME they could have held off on the release of Windows XP and gotten it right. They could have had more testing, added more features and released an OS with XP that would have satisfied business users and consumers alike. Windows 2000 is the best OS release Microsoft ever had, all 64,000 bugs and all, and when it came time to upgrade to Windows XP Pro many businesses didn’t see the benefit because there wasn’t any. Consumers got a big push. Consumers moved from the DOS base to an NT kernel. Some businesses still don’t see the benefit. Sure XP SP2 added many bug fixes and turned off services that should have been shipped shut down but by this time most admins got their Windows 2000 boxes straightened out, hardened their security practices and developed or used third party security products to lock them down and one things admins hate (and I speak from experience here) is having to rip out whets been tested and what works with something that’s relatively new and from being on the forums and listening to customers, what caused some major problems with app compatibility to begin with. I’m not making too light of XP SP2 there was also additional code written and they used different methods of compiling the code as well. Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t seen anything in XP SP2 that has turned me into a better admin, or into a better developer. Microsoft uses the excuse, “Because of technology in XP SP2 we cant port IE 7 to Windows 2000 or Monad to Windows 2000” which is a load of crap, we all know that.

As for quality of code. Mary Jo, every piece of software has bugs. Mac OS, Windows, Linux and UNIX all have their bugs. Most major applications both commercial and open source have bugs. Anyone who says they have developed the perfect piece of code save 1 person is lying to you. That one person is not me, hehehe I wish. It is the man who developed “Hello World”. Hello World is probably the only bug free software program I have seen. No one is capable of writing bug free code. There are too many variables to plan for. When you think its perfect you have forgotten something.

The only thing I personally can offer is that I will do my best and that’s about the same with anyone who works in the tech industry. Sorry. If you think these guys are gods. They aren’t. Now, some have read this blog entry and beat their chest and say “I write perfect code all the time. This guy doesnt know what he’s talking about. I software developer, hear me ROAR!!!” Those are about the smartest dumbasses you will find in the world, those are the guys that sit back after they seed a release to the public and say “I’m done.” The really good developers sit back down and who have worked out one problem and go on to find more problems.



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