80% of Firefox 3 bugs to remain unfixed?

Mozilla won't fix 80% of Firefox 3.0's bugs, says Computerworld. This sounds like a lot, and that is probably true.

However, this is not exclusive to Firefox. All software, including Opera, is released with known bugs. If just about all bugs were to be fixed before release, new versions would be few and far between, leaving users waiting for other bugfixes for a very long time. At some point you simply have to draw the line, and release the new version. New versions will often include many important bugfixes and additions, and many people will benefit from these even if other bugs remain.

One should also realize that browsers are extremely complex programs. They have to handle text, images, audio, plugins, and so on. And they have to handle any strange kind of input from the user or strange code on Web pages.

In an ideal world, all bugs would have been fixed before release. Perhaps if the Web was ideal, with perfect code on websites and perfect input from the user, browsers would be easier to debug. But the real world is quite different. Browsers have to deal with the real Web, which means that there is a huge potential for bugs.

So before we jump on the "bash the buggy program" bandwagon, we should consider for a moment the hugely complex application that a Web browser is (whether it is Firefox, Opera or Internet Explorer), and the benefit new versions bring to a lot of people even if not all bugs have been fixed.

Even applications that may not be half as complex as a Web browser are released with known bugs. It might be right or it might be wrong, but it's how the industry works.

It's the real world.


12 thoughts on “80% of Firefox 3 bugs to remain unfixed?

  1. Luckily having only 20% of known bugs fixed doesn't mean you can only make use of 20% of the program's functionality. :p

  2. I'm in my first year of a BSc in Software Development. The immense complexity of developing any software is just starting to dawn. :faint:

  3. That headline is misleading at best; read the article again. It's 80% of the *remaining* bugs, which number about 700 right now. They've already fixed over 11,000. Big difference.

  4. You'll have to talk to the article author about that, rseiler. In any case, the headline is not the important thing here. What's important is that one shouldn't blow these things out of proportion. Bugs are common in the software world. In reality, this should probably be a non-story.

  5. Some programs/projects have actually had bug bashes where the goal is to go to 0 bugs (or as close to that as possible). Any chance of that happening at Opera?

  6. What percentage of bugs will Opera leave open when kestrel releases?Is there a bug for every spec violation (exception) on the doc site? olli: You could set a cut-off of day 1 of the bug bash and say (virtually) everything reported before then will be fixed before you go back to feature adding. I was suggesting something of that sort.

  7. Stifu writes:

    To the poster above: I've been using Firefox 3 for almost a year now, and I can tell you, there are loads of additions and fixes… They may not be obvious at first, but I guess you just discover them one by one.To name a few: new rendering engine, overall faster, lower memory usage, Acid2 test passed, full page zoom, smooth border-radius (and just recently, background images don't spill through them anymore), new bookmark, history and download systems, Larry (although I don't care about it)… And then there are also many little tweaks and bug fixes I like, such as the fixed autoscroll icon (it used to glitch/flicker in some cases)… Also, more things are middle-clickable, etc…I'm probably forgetting a lot of stuff.Personally, I can't go back to Firefox 2 anymore. 🙂

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