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The FDA allows a certain number of “defects” in our food: The Food Defect Action Levels
With commercial software, there is no government organization to enforce a bug limit. I’m not saying there should be, but some companies seem unconcerned about the quality of their products.
Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror blog reminded me of that today, with his article on Don’t Pollute User Space. Commercial software is not following established conventions.
That’s no surprise to me. Many years ago, I owned a product called Professional Page for the Commodore Amiga. This was a state-of-the-art desktop publishing package for the time, and was not cheap.
I also owned a memory checking tool called BoundsChecker. I used this fairly consistently to test applications I wrote, and naively assumed that everyone else did, too.
One day, I ran BC on Professional Page. From the number of leaks and overruns I found, clearly no one at the company ever had.
Fast forward to the present. I would never want to release commercial software for .NET without running FxCop on it. I know of at least one very expensive business software package that violates basic FxCop rules. To be fair, that software was written for .NET 1.1. But I’ll bet money that their release for .NET 3.0 won’t pass.
Update - March 9, 2010
I would have won that bet.