Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about) 
Author Message
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Hi-

   A friend of mine just pointed me to this interview.  I thought it
might be of interest to the rest of you...

   In an interview for German weekly magazine FOCUS (nr.43, October
23,1995, pages 206-212), Microsoft`s Mr. Bill Gates has made some
statements about software quality of MS products.

   To see the actuial interview, visit

                  http://www.*-*-*.com/

   Here is the "Executive Summary":

   o  Bug reports are statistically, therefore actually, unimportant;

   o  If you want a bug fixed, you are (by definition) in the minority;

   o  Microsoft doesn't fix bugs because bug fixes are not a significant
      source of revenue;

   o  If you think you found a bug, you are wrong, because really it only
      means you're incompetent; and

   o  People only complain about bugs to show how cool they are, not
      because bugs cause any real problems.

---------------------------- End of Summary ------------------------------

   I quit complaining about bugs YEARS ago.  Not because I didn't think
the BUGs were a real problems, but because I NEVER got any satisfaction.
Microsoft (and other big software vendors) have created this situation.
By failing to respond to BUG reports, no bug reports are submitted.  Is
that a surprise to anyone?

   Interesting.  I don't run MY company that way.  Then again, I'm not
making billions of dollars per year.  What's wrong with this picture?

         Jim Neil           ___  ___/  ____/   ___  /   ____/   ____/
      Creator of The            /     /       /    /   /       /
TERSE Programming Language     /     ___/      ___/ ____  /   ___/
    http://www.*-*-*.com/       /     /       /  \         /   /

   ISBN:  0-9652660-0-1



Thu, 29 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:

>    In an interview for German weekly magazine FOCUS (nr.43, October
> 23,1995, pages 206-212), Microsoft`s Mr. Bill Gates has made some
> statements about software quality of MS products.

> (snip)

>    I quit complaining about bugs YEARS ago.  Not because I didn't think
> the BUGs were a real problems, but because I NEVER got any satisfaction.
> Microsoft (and other big software vendors) have created this situation.
> By failing to respond to BUG reports, no bug reports are submitted.  Is
> that a surprise to anyone?

>    Interesting.  I don't run MY company that way.  Then again, I'm not
> making billions of dollars per year.  What's wrong with this picture?

What's wrong is that you and I and other developers are behind the
times, Jim. We'll never make billions of dollars as long as we worry
about bugs. Let's make a movement for "bug-free development" under the
aegis of our great leader Bill Gates.

I never cease to be amazed at the open-heartedness of Microdollar, not
to mention their open-mouthedness.

Tore
--



Thu, 29 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:

>What's wrong is that you and I and other developers are behind the
>times, Jim. We'll never make billions of dollars as long as we worry
>about bugs. Let's make a movement for "bug-free development" under the
>aegis of our great leader Bill Gates.

>I never cease to be amazed at the open-heartedness of Microdollar, not
>to mention their open-mouthedness.

If you had gone to that web site and seen the silly "interview," you'd see
that it's a scam; just something that guy's sick little brain cooked up.  The
dialog is so juvenile it's amazing someone had the nerve to try to make people
believe that it's authentic.

-Jesse

Quote:
>Tore
>--




Thu, 29 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)


Quote:
>   I quit complaining about bugs YEARS ago.  Not because I didn't think
>the BUGs were a real problems, but because I NEVER got any satisfaction.
>Microsoft (and other big software vendors) have created this situation.
>By failing to respond to BUG reports, no bug reports are submitted.  Is
>that a surprise to anyone?

>   Interesting.  I don't run MY company that way.  Then again, I'm not
>making billions of dollars per year.  What's wrong with this picture?

>         Jim Neil           ___  ___/  ____/   ___  /   ____/   ____/

An interesting exception to this appears to be IBM, at least as far as
OS/2 is concerned.  They regularly release Fixpacks which incorporate
fixes to bugs reported by users and, for later releases, product
enhancements.  Best of all, these Fixpacks are free and readily
available.  Kinda gave me a shock after being used to the Microsoft
way...

simon
--
"I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather....
   Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car...."
Department of Psychology,
University of Canterbury,
Private Bag 4800,
Christchurch,
NEW ZEALAND.



Thu, 29 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)


Quote:
> Hi-

>    A friend of mine just pointed me to this interview.  I thought it
> might be of interest to the rest of you...

>    In an interview for German weekly magazine FOCUS (nr.43, October
> 23,1995, pages 206-212), Microsoft`s Mr. Bill Gates has made some
> statements about software quality of MS products.

>    To see the actuial interview, visit

>                   http://www.cantrip.org/nobugs.html

>    Here is the "Executive Summary":

>    o  Bug reports are statistically, therefore actually, unimportant;

>    o  If you want a bug fixed, you are (by definition) in the minority;

>    o  Microsoft doesn't fix bugs because bug fixes are not a significant
>       source of revenue;

>    o  If you think you found a bug, you are wrong, because really it only
>       means you're incompetent; and

>    o  People only complain about bugs to show how cool they are, not
>       because bugs cause any real problems.

> ---------------------------- End of Summary ------------------------------

>    I quit complaining about bugs YEARS ago.  Not because I didn't think
> the BUGs were a real problems, but because I NEVER got any satisfaction.
> Microsoft (and other big software vendors) have created this situation.
> By failing to respond to BUG reports, no bug reports are submitted.  Is
> that a surprise to anyone?

>    Interesting.  I don't run MY company that way.  Then again, I'm not
> making billions of dollars per year.  What's wrong with this picture?

>          Jim Neil           ___  ___/  ____/   ___  /   ____/   ____/
>       Creator of The            /     /       /    /   /       /
> TERSE Programming Language     /     ___/      ___/ ____  /   ___/
>    http://www.terse.com       /     /       /  \         /   /

>    ISBN:  0-9652660-0-1

Really? Hmm.
I've run into 4 productivity-halting bugs in the past few years.
* turbo C for windows 1.0. Hd a bug that would cause it to crash when
compiling. Needless to say, Borland sent me a real quick fix. Rather
embarrassing for the company.
* Also in Borland C 3.1 (since fixed) OWL had a problem where it would
delete a pointer twice, causing a crash. Reported and they posted a fix
on their forum in compuserve (92 timeframe)
* The recent NT 4.0 service pack 2 debacle, where I could open then close
the CD door, mchine would halt. Again, fixes have been posted.
* Preliminary version of the Diamond Viper driver for windows 3.1 didn't
like being asked for a solid red (255, 255, 255) brush. Again, fixed.

If they aren't fixing bugs...why do they keep issuing service packs &
such? :-).With each pack, they list the bugs fixed.

Dennis



Thu, 29 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:

> If you had gone to that web site and seen the silly "interview," you'd see
> that it's a scam; just something that guy's sick little brain cooked up.  The
> dialog is so juvenile it's amazing someone had the nerve to try to make people
> believe that it's authentic.

I did go to the web site, and I have now checked the back link to the
"raw text" pointed to. I would not preclude that it is a scam, but I see
no particular reason to suppose so. It is juvenile, okay, but the
interview may have been given in some awkward situation.

If it is a scam, then this is serious.

Tore
--



Fri, 30 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)



Quote:
> Hi-

>    A friend of mine just pointed me to this interview.  I thought it
> might be of interest to the rest of you...

>    In an interview for German weekly magazine FOCUS (nr.43, October
> 23,1995, pages 206-212), Microsoft`s Mr. Bill Gates has made some
> statements about software quality of MS products.

>    To see the actuial interview, visit

>                   http://www.cantrip.org/nobugs.html

>    Here is the "Executive Summary":

>    o  Bug reports are statistically, therefore actually, unimportant;

>    o  If you want a bug fixed, you are (by definition) in the minority;

>    o  Microsoft doesn't fix bugs because bug fixes are not a significant
>       source of revenue;

>    o  If you think you found a bug, you are wrong, because really it only
>       means you're incompetent; and

>    o  People only complain about bugs to show how cool they are, not
>       because bugs cause any real problems.

Of course, he said none of any of that, and only deliberate
misinterpretation of what he *did* say allows one to come to
those conclusions.  My summary:

     o  Bug reports are less than 1% of all calls, and therefore in
        proportion to all calls shows that there are not very many
        bugs (94% of all calls are general questions on how to do
        something, 5% are feature requests).  In other words,
        feature requests outnumber bug reports 5 to 1.

     o  If you want a bug fixed, file a bug report (he actually did
        say this).

     o  Microsoft does not make release new software *only* to fix
        bugs, because research has shown that people will not pay
        for an upgrade solely to fix bugs.  He did *NOT* say that
        bug fixes are not available, he only said that they don't
        make people pay for new versions solely to fix bugs.

     o  Many so-called bugs are really user error.  Anybody who has
        ANY experience with supporting a software product knows
        this is true.

     o  It's popular to assume that M/S is loaded with bugs, even
        if people can't name any.  Anybody with ANY objectivity
        knows this is true.

And again, I ask -- what is about Microsoft that causes normally
intelligent people's brains to turn off?

--
=========================================================================|

| "Judge all, and be prepared to be judged by all."                      |
=========================================================================|



Fri, 30 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:


> > [MS ignores bug reports]

> >    Interesting.  I don't run MY company that way.  Then again, I'm not
> > making billions of dollars per year.  What's wrong with this picture?
>[snip]
> Let's make a movement for "bug-free development" under the
> aegis of our great leader Bill Gates.

  I say we take the sword that comes with that aegis and jam
it up...oh, nevermind.

  Techniques for proven correct coding are in "The Science of
Programming", by David Gries, 1981, Springer-Verlag,
ISBN 0-387-90641-X
ISBN 0-540-90641-X

  Do the examples.  Take 3 months of spare time at it.
You WILL be a better coder.

  There is _this_ aspect of coding *correctly*:  your code output
drops TO 1/3, while your debug time drops accordingly.  Later
code maintenance is much less because you did it right the first
time.  Most of the debug/maintenance happens before a single
line is ever written.

  Such low code output is unacceptable given market windows,
production deadlines, and bean-counting supervisors.  A programmer
and his company must first and foremost be self-supporting, so
production code must deliver acceptable services in a timely
fashion.  To declare such code bug-free, and those bugs that
do exist to be unimportant is an unusual act of arrogance, but
heh heh heh...

  It allows the rest of us who DO care more about production
quality to make a good living!!

Example:  Until MASM 5.x,  many used SLRASM from SLR in Pennsylvania
because it was so blazingly fast (10x - 20x faster, in fact!) and
unbuggy.
BTW, SLR products were all lovingly crafted in assembly language.
It was an art form for the author.

Moral:  If you are going to compete directly with the Big Guys,
your product must be VISIBLY twice as good at the very least.

  Finally, and shamefully, I admit to padding code for the satisfaction
of a clueless demi-competent supervisor who was interested mainly
in code lines/day, not deliverable functionality.  I unrolled loops.
I re-instantiated linked lists as separate entities.  Graph traversals
by adjacency matrix were replaced with scads of switch-case blocks.
Ugh.  But if a paying idiot insists on bean-counting, you give him
beans.

It does no good to say, "I write tools you do not understand
that do things you cannot conceive of and that achieve goals I
cannot quickly put a name to."

See Adobe postscript font 'hints'.

Sometimes, you gotta give 'em beans.  Magic beans.

-daniel r. haney
--



Fri, 30 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:


> > Let's make a movement for "bug-free development" under the
> > aegis of our great leader Bill Gates.

>   I say we take the sword that comes with that aegis and jam
> it up...oh, nevermind.

>   Techniques for proven correct coding are in "The Science of
> Programming", by David Gries, 1981, Springer-Verlag,
> ISBN 0-387-90641-X
> ISBN 0-540-90641-X

> [etc.]

I am not quite certain of what you're trying to say. At least it seems
that you picked up the term "bug-free development" in its intended
ironic sense.

But let me ask you about correct coding. I have long since read "The
Science of Programming", and - like most others I suppose - I find it
next to hopeless to actually use this stuff in my programs. So, by now
you know my question: are *you* using it? And are you doing so in
assembler?

Sure, this theory is fascinating, but all honest opinion on it seems to
agree that it is too cumbersome for use in bread-and-butter programming.
But if you have ideas on this, speak up, please. Do you use simple WHILE
loops or the multiple guarded variety? Do you go for complete or partial
correctness? Waiting to hear from you.

And, if you have some bright ideas on this topic, send a copy of your
article to Microsoft. Never mind what Tim says...

Tore
--



Fri, 30 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:


> >    Interesting.  I don't run MY company that way.  Then again, I'm not
> > making billions of dollars per year.  What's wrong with this picture?

> Simply that you ARE just like Microsoft in another way -- you have
> been trying to prevent competition.  What you really should do is to
> be BETTER than the competition, not attempt to prevent it.

> Haven't you tried to squash several free TERSE clones?  I wrote a TERSE
> clone, and Tylisha C. Andersen and David Deganchi also have clones.

> Not that TERSE isn't a very good product.  Why otherwise would several
> people have cloned it?  It is very nice (and better than the clones I
> have seen, IMHO, being significantly faster than all three).

You may have a point here, Tenie. I think Jim should allow competition,
but he should not necessarily give up his right to royalties on TERSE
clones. It is more or less taken for granted that language designers
should work for free, but there is no reason why this state of affairs
should continue. What normally happens is that they work in universities
or Bell Labs or similar institutions, so that they don't have to worry
about money. Lone developers like Jim might have to charge something for
their product, and I think that's only fair.

If the TERSE clones actually are *clones*, then I think that Jim should
be able to demand a royalty on distributed copies. It is always possible
to bypass this demand by making another type of "assembler with HLL
syntax". If they use the TERSE syntax, this means they think Jim has
done a good job, and they should give him credit (money) for it.

Quote:
> Even Microsoft does not try to get rid of free assemblers, C-compilers,
> word processors, operating systems (ie Linux), etc.  as far as I know.

Well, how could they? They did not invent assembler nor C nor word
processing. I don't know about Linux, but I would doubt that it has
borrowed any significant ideas from MS operating systems. The problem
with Microsoft is precisely that they have not come up with a single new
idea, yet they behave as if they had invented computing.

Quote:
> Learn to live with competition.

If you make a cover version of a hit song, you have to pay royalties. If
you want to *compete*, you write your own song.

Tore
--



Sat, 31 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Tim Behrendsen:

Quote:
> And again, I ask -- what is about Microsoft that causes normally
> intelligent people's brains to turn off?

  The user interface.. it numbs the mind.  Linux keeps me awake.


Sat, 31 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:


> > If the TERSE clones actually are *clones*, then I think that Jim should
> > be able to demand a royalty on distributed copies. It is always possible
> > to bypass this demand by making another type of "assembler with HLL
> > syntax". If they use the TERSE syntax, this means they think Jim has
> > done a good job, and they should give him credit (money) for it.

> You're right except that they are not quite clones.  They support
> *most* of the TERSE syntax, and have extensions (particularly NEGA)
> that TERSE doesn't have, I consider thm different enough not to be
> violating any copyright.  I guess if there were enough extensions
> it would be different enough.

I don't know these clones. But for the sake of the argument, let's say
that we are talking about *clones*, literally.

Quote:
> Also what would the royalty on a free product be?  Two of them were
> going to be free.

> I assume then, they could pay Jim Neil say 20% of the profits, or
> even 20% of the gross sales, which would work out to be nothing.

The point is, one is not allowed to copy and distribute other
intellectual or artistic products without the permission of the
copyright owner. What makes language design a special case?

Tore
--



Sun, 01 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Microsoft Code Has No Bugs (that Microsoft cares about)

Quote:

>> > If the TERSE clones actually are *clones*, then I think that Jim should
>> > be able to demand a royalty on distributed copies. It is always possible
>> > to bypass this demand by making another type of "assembler with HLL
>> > syntax". If they use the TERSE syntax, this means they think Jim has
>> > done a good job, and they should give him credit (money) for it.

>> You're right except that they are not quite clones.  They support
>> *most* of the TERSE syntax, and have extensions (particularly NEGA)
>> that TERSE doesn't have, I consider thm different enough not to be
>> violating any copyright.  I guess if there were enough extensions
>> it would be different enough.

TL replied:

Quote:
>I don't know these clones. But for the sake of the argument, let's say
>that we are talking about *clones*, literally.

TR:

Quote:
>> Also what would the royalty on a free product be?  Two of them were
>> going to be free.
>> I assume then, they could pay Jim Neil say 20% of the profits, or
>> even 20% of the gross sales, which would work out to be nothing.

TL:

Quote:
>The point is, one is not allowed to copy and distribute other
>intellectual or artistic products without the permission of the
>copyright owner. What makes language design a special case?

I'll agree here. TERSE's syntax is what makes it special. It is NOT
standard, and therefore I woudl say this qualify's as it's own HLL
compiler or pre processor of sorts.

I would like to see those that are into trying to clone TERSE come up
with some other stuff (for TR's FREELIB) or perhaps an assembler of
their own.

Ep
Ed Parry - Southern California, USA



Sun, 01 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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