Don’t fix what ain’t broke

Like everyone else, I had a bit of time off work over the holiday period. One of the “jobs” I had set for myself was to fix our bathroom door. For a couple of years now, during the winter months, the wooden door will swell and refuse to close properly so that you can’t actually lock the door. One of our cats likes to go and sit in the bath of an evening. We tried to shut the bathroom door to discourage him but he found that if he ran at it hard enough, it would open and in trots the cat. So, I thought, whilst I have some time I will fix the door. This took all of 10 minutes to chisel a bit of wood away in the catch and now the lock and catch work beautifully. The door now locks. This has caused the cat some consternation as now when he runs at the door it does not open as expected. We have one confused cat. It has also stopped the kids in their tracks as they used to run up the stairs and bolt for the door just expecting it to open when they pushed against the door. You can imagine the consequences of this change. I should have set up a camera to capture the events.

This got me to thinking. How may software applications are out there that have some “problem” that people have just found a work around for and then upgraded and found that the work-around they had no longer works and the software now works in a different manner to what they expect. How much wasted time and consternation does this cause our users? Would it not be better to fix the issues and release patches as soon as we have the issues reported? Should we be better at finding the issues before we release our applications? One to think about over a curry some time maybe?

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