Why do we not fix bugs?
Before you spout out your answer, focus on what I didn’t say. I didn’t say “Why do we not find bugs.” I specifically asked about fixing them. Yes, there is a story for this one.
I was semi-frantically looking around the cramped, crowded alleyways of GitHub for a small bug to fix. I’m no code-vigilante, it was an assignment for my Free and Open-Source Software class. Intentions aside, I stumbled upon the strangest phenomenon.
In the Issues section was a bug observation that actually contained the solution. Now, I’m not simply applauding my own luck for finding a fixed-but-not-actually-fixed bug to easily complete my assignment. Rather, I’m quite puzzled. This person seemed quite competent, so why didn’t he fix it? It was literally a single line of code. That was all it took to fix this issue. In fact, to even notice the problem, he had to have been looking at the code. I didn’t see a pull request. Was he waiting for the core team to fix it? Do a lot of people do that?
If not for FOSS, would I have done that? Hmm…