Should I put more bugs into my software ?

Issues are one of the rare occasions were, when everything is automated, you talk with users of your software. Recently I had some contact with users that liked my software but had some bugs :

SwiffOut, my browser extension is exactly the kind of problem I’d prefer to stay away of ; it’s unfixable : I parse webpages to find games and makes them really fullscreen in a browserless way. No website is built the same way, of course, so I use an heuristic to find what’s the most likely to be a game, pick up that and pray for the best.

Please god of mozilla, chrome, IE, add a way to get the position of an element across iframes…

Social games like Farmville tend to not work as they do some javascript transaction with the webpage and the servers; some websites don’t really like that you transform their stuff, so they add tokens so that pages and games can only load as a pair. I could have created a subwebpage that could have solved some of the issue, but it would probably still not fix everything. Try to get facebook environment without the UI ?

Some time ago, one of my user suggested that I add a donation button because he’d like to give back. While a very nice proposition, I had tried it and I knew that very few people actually give back. Still, I would have really liked to accept and it cost me to refuse (who doesn’t want some money for their work ?). But, I’m not really in need for 5 or 10 bucks so I asked that he talk about it to his friends instead.

So he went and wrote that on reddit :

“It’s a pretty clever idea; instead of resizing the flash (which typically will cause lag) it resizes your monitor resolution to the closest / best size for displaying the swf full-screen. That’s why it’s called Swiffout — it gets the .SWF out of the browser. After playing a ton of games on Kongregate and Armour it’s pretty clear to me that many of these games were intended to be played full-screen. I gave the developer some love (and a crash report) via email and suggested he put a donate button on his page so i could support his efforts. He requested that instead of donating that I please spread the word about his plug-in. So that’s what I’m doing. If you check this out and give it a thumbs-up, please thank him by doing the same.”

Probably because it was a good story it did quite well on reddit up to the subreddit gaming home page.

Two weeks later spotted my extension and wrote a nice review, then wrote another review, then some italian websites did too.

The fun thing is that all of this happened because SwiffOut didn’t work. A smartbear already spotted that tech support is sales some times ago, but I now realise how much it can be true.

So should I add more bugs into my software ?

One Response to “Should I put more bugs into my software ?”

  1. phitsc says:

    Funny story. Congratulations for the coverage you got.

    I’ve added a donate button on user request for my freeware WinMo app YaRPNcalc. I’ve only got very few donations, like 1 or 2 a year maybe. So the effort of creating a Paypal account and adding the necessary functionality to the web site was hardly worth it (well, it wasn’t really that hard either). Nevertheless, as you say, it’s still nice to get user appreciation.

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