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Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Friday, November 09, 2001

Prakash wants to know "how all of the esteemed contributors in this discussion list came across your website."

CityDesk Beta

Last night at around 10 PM we fixed the last (known) bug in CityDesk Beta 2. This morning we're going to do some smoke tests and last-minute banging, and if all goes well, we'll release Beta 3 today.

For this beta we found, and fixed, some of the nastiest, hairiest, scariest bugs that we thought we'd never be able to fix. A mysterious crash that couldn't be reproduced reliably. Occasional mauling of HTML code by the WYSIWYG editor, and even more occasionally completely destroying HTML code. (That bug, incidentally, was in a Microsoft library function, which we reimplemented ourselves.) Mysterious startup crashes when you're using a non-Latin1 version of Windows (Hebrew, Greek, etc.) Inability to run as a normal user on Windows NT. And we sped up incremental publishing dramatically by caching CRCs.

Update, 7 PM. We managed to release Beta 3 today - four times! Scary little show-stopper bugs kept popping up. I'm praying that the rate at which show-stopper bugs keep popping up goes down dramatically so I can take the whole weekend off for a change. Fog Creek Software: "We Make Lots of Bugs, But At Least We Fix Them!"


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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