Alternate definitions for English words, as inferred from bug reports

Raymond Chen

Here are some terms that appear in bug reports.

  • “Empty” means “There are a bunch of things here, but not the ones I wanted.”
  • “Blank” means “There are things, maybe.”
  • “The picture is wrong” can mean practically anything, including possibly “The picture is right.”
  • “It didn’t work” can also mean practically anything, including possibly “It worked.”

One of my colleagues works on video drivers. He pointed out that when there’s a bug of the form “… and then I get a black screen,” there’s a decent probability that the bug will include a screen shot.

You can imagine what the screen shot looks like.

At least it compresses well.


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