A documented bug is a feature was RE: "W

Subject: A documented bug is a feature was RE: "W
From: "Huber, Mike" <Mike -dot- Huber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 15:03:28 -0400

Yes, in fact, I have.
A software package I documented has a formatting function that takes a
data item and a formatting string. For example, the formatting string
"DDD(D)" with the number 1234 as data results in a display of "123(4)".
Now, an early version of the software didn't do anything special with
decimal points in the formatting string, so if the format was "DD.DD" the
result would be "12.34". Nobody told me it was a bug, so I documented it
that way. In the industrial environment, it turns out to be pretty useful
to be able to display an integer with a bogus decimal point in it. There
are, for example, thermometers that give data as integer tenths of a
degree. This particular bug means you don't have to convert the value and
store the new version someplace, you just display it differently.
The development guys finally got around to fixing the bug, long after the
manual had been published.
By then, another writer had revised the manual so that particular bug had
it's own subheading.
We made the developers put the bug back.

From: Daniel Deane[SMTP:ddeane -at- MINDSPRING -dot- COM]
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 1996 1:16 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list TEC
Subject: Re: "We heard you the first time."

Carla Martinek <carlam -at- MINERVA -dot- ODESTA -dot- COM>

>"If you document a bug, it then becomes a feature."

>Carla Martinek

I know you are making a funny. But, perhaps you might have some truth to
the above saying. Have you ever heard of a bug becomming a feature? Or a
bug being beneficial?

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