The four worst types of computer bug

All programmers will know what software bugs come in various shapes and sizes, but when it comes down to it there are only four core types of software bug.

Man looking for software bug

Some have argued that there are only seven basic story plots and there are 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only four types of software bug and they’re all named after famous physicists. We’ve seen them all on Turbine and it only seemed right to share this essential information.

The Heisenbug

A computer programming jargon term for a software bug that seems to disappear or alter its behaviour when one attempts to study it, named after the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. If the many-worlds theory is correct, however, the bug might not exist at all in other parts of the multiverse but that’s not very reassuring if it just ate two hours’ work without a backup.

The Bohrbug

By opposition, this is a ‘good, solid bug’. Like the deterministic Bohr atom model, Bohrbugs do not change their behaviour and are relatively easily detected. If you do this, then the software does that. All programmers dream of easily reproduced bugs like this.

The Mandelbug

Named after Benoît Mandelbrot‘s fractal, this is a bug whose causes are so complex it defies repair, or makes its behaviour appear chaotic or even non-deterministic. (Did you know that the B. in ‘Benoit B. Mandelbrot’ actually stands for Benoit B. Mandelbrot. True.)

The Schrödinbug

Named after Erwin Schrödinger and his thought experiment, this is a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

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