New model for software development for Second Life?

Similarly, the bug on the “fast timers” which caused the crash-on-login error pop up now and then. No matter how much LL promises to “fix” it, the truth is, 3.0.3 is unusable for me right now. And the worse thing is that the development version that did fix the bug and did have a working inventory was trashed and replaced by newer versions on all versions of LL’s viewers. Not a single one fixes the bug that had been fixed just after 3.0.0 was released. Linden Lab thinks the bug is fixed — they have internal reports saying so! — but it is not.

Now, you might never have experienced any of these two bugs. Be content! In fact, the major problem in software development, when hunting bugs, is to reproduce them. There are uncountable different hardware platforms running different software, and when all these interfere with each other, unless a developer happens to be very lucky, they might never be able to reproduce a bug, and thus, from their perspective of reality, the bug does not exist. Without having a clue why a bug seems to be fixed in one version, but pops up again in the next, even though all internal reports show otherwise, it’s truly very hard for the LL developers to actually know if they have fixed something for everybody or not.

So far, this is pretty much what you’d expect a Linden Lab employee to answer you if you complain about “bugs from the past” coming back to plague you after they have been somehow fixed. And if you have a background in programming, IT consultancy, or at least worked with software development companies before, you might be able to nod and agree that LL is pretty much telling the truth. And of course you’d be willing to help them finding out about the bug that plagues you and your friends (at the extreme, by eventually shipping them your hardware! Where can I buy stamps to ship something so big I wonder…). You’d be patiently helping them out, finding more ways to reproduce the bug, turning things on randomly, launching the viewer with a combination of other applications to see if a pattern emerges, and so forth. Everything to be able to figure out what it’s wrong.

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