Monday, October 05, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss (Until It's Not)

Here comes another quote...
Never ignore a bug you don't understand.
A bug you don't understand is an opportunity to turn code you don't understand into code that you do understand. In particular, the next swing you get at this bug might be in a much uglier situation that's much harder to reproduce or diagnose.

So better to at least do the diagnostic part of the bug fix immediately. You never know: maybe what you thought was cosmetic and trivial was a symptom of something much worse.

Once you understand the bug completely, then you can say "let's not fix this just now."


  1. Then again, in complex cases until you haven't fixed it there's a possibility that you don't really understand it even if you think that you do.

  2. Totally true. And there is a real risk in using engineering judgement here - it's engineering using an estimate.