★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Bugs in apps (need help understanding more about them)

11-07-2009, 02:04 AM
#1
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,170
Bugs in apps (need help understanding more about them)

You build an app. Test the daylights out of it > multiple testers have no bugs.

When you go live you have one or two people that have these odd bugs that
are hard or impossible to recreate.

Besides the fact that different devices are used, why do bugs show up so sporadic?

Does Jailbreaking make the device more vulnerable to bugs? (most people complaining about bugs in my games always point out that their phone is jailbroken)

Last edited by Syndicated Puzzles; 11-07-2009 at 07:34 AM.
11-07-2009, 02:30 AM
#2
In general, you'll see more bugs pop up from people who are unfamiliar with the game. Maybe they'll get spazzy finger and press a button over and over because it isn't responding fast enough.

Random crashes seem to occur across a variety of games, regardless of the developer and regardless if the phone is jailbroken or not. But who knows what a jailbroken phone could be running, with un-approved apps with memory leaks, multitasking apps in the background and whatnot.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone

Last edited by Flickitty; 11-07-2009 at 02:35 AM.

11-08-2009, 03:46 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Dunedin, NZ
Posts: 22
Don't be too quick to blame jail broken phones here. All code has bugs, and some are nasty to find. In particular, bugs relating to memory state or synchronization across threads can be incredibly hard to find and reproduce.

Unfortunately, once released into 'the wild', the probability of hitting these bugs actually becomes quite high - some user, some where, will manage to hit that one in a million sequence of events that never popped up in testing. This is just a fact of life we as developers need to live with.

On a related note, can anyone point out (both for me and the OP) a good article on debugging post release crashes / bugs like these?
11-08-2009, 04:37 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,170
Thanks guys. I am still trying to understand the randomness of the occurrence of these hard to detect bugs. So I guess the user is playing a game different from the other users and this may trigger the bug. That user is going to continue playing the way he or she does, so in all likelihood the bug will be triggered again and again.

So what I am taking away from this is that, all you programmers out there are still not 100% sure of your code every time you submit a project. The chance of this hidden element could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night wondering? If......
11-08-2009, 04:40 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 1,170
understanding a little more

Thanks guys. I am still trying to understand the randomness of the occurrence of these hard to detect bugs. So I guess the user is playing a game different from the other users and this may trigger the bug. That user is going to continue playing the way he or she does, so in all likelihood the bug will be triggered again and again.

So what I am taking away from this is that, all you programmers out there are still not 100% sure of your code every time you submit a project. The chance of this hidden element could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night wondering? If......
11-08-2009, 04:45 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Munich
Posts: 384
Send a message via Skype™ to rdklein
It's important to crash test programs, that means, click and use the use interface in an unsually way, try to enter data slow and fast double click and so on. On the other side, memory problems often occur together with other apps, low memory conditions should be checked and try to catch them.
In the own app try to catch any error and check whatever can be checked and try to recover. Check for ranges and many more. This is a process in the programming phase which can take a multiple of the pure app code, but when you have to deal with mass users its necessary.
I know these problems for past productions wth around 200000 ! users (per 1/2 year) (PC which is even worse), trying to reduce the feedback to a couple of people -- really tough and required around 50 testers working some weeks on the program in the beta phase. Important is the hack test as told above, just try to wildly hack around the app and buttons and dont care about messages etc. this helps to find bugs.

One of the stranges bug was hard to reproduce and related to the exact clicking timing of the user - hewas to slow and an internal process startedprecise in sync with something else .

RadioactivityCounter on App Store developer of this App RadioactivityCounter 2012
Ports of Call on App Store developer of this game 1986-2009,
11-08-2009, 04:48 PM
#7
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Dunedin, NZ
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndicated Puzzles View Post
So what I am taking away from this is that, all you programmers out there are still not 100% sure of your code every time you submit a project. The chance of this hidden element could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night wondering? If......
The complexity present in even the simplest of applications is mind boggling - it's a wonder software works as well as it does. Don't think badly of 'us programmers' because we can only catch 99.9% of a waterfall with our bare hands

Remember there may be other factors at play here - an OS / hardware combination that hasn't been tested, some other app that's messing you around, memory may being used by other (OS) apps, like email or Safari - I'm sure there's plenty of other possibilities.