Fixing Bugs

I had one of those classic free software moments this morning that reminds me of why I so strongly prefer that world to the world of commercial software.

I had recently built the latest unstable version of Gnumeric, the GNOME spreadsheet, but the first time I fired it up, it crashed unusably. I dutifully filed a bug report (users’ way of giving back to a project, and an important part of what I think of as the free software social contract). My report left Jody Goldberg, the lead developer scratching his head. He volleyed back a few questions, I answered as best I could, and the bug sat unsolved.

Last night I ran into Jody on IRC and he asked if I’d figured out anything more. I hadn’t, guilt set in, so I set in to rebuild Gnumeric a couple of different ways to see if I could learn anything. Nothing.

Then this morning, there was an email in my inbox. Jody had figured it out, and fixed it.

I’ll buy lunch for anyone who’s had service that good with shrink-wrap software they paid for.