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Software Bugs: Have We Made Progress?
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Today I configured the new version of Quicken to download data from our bank.  Quicken's import function threw no errors, but reported it had imported 0 transactions.   I looked at the file in a text editor (textual data formats are good for that) and was sure there was a transaction in it.  While chatting with Intuit's second level of support, I realized the account number in the file didn't match the account in Quicken I was trying to import into.

So there were two or three bugs, or at least flaws:
  1. My bank's web app doesn't remember which account I'm working with when I switch from displaying transactions to downloading transactions.
  2. Quicken silently ignores transactions from a mis-matched account in a .qfx file.
  3. Intuit's support system doesn't steer Mac users to Mac-trained reps. (This wasted my time and theirs, but didn't contribute to the main problem.)
One transaction is not a statistically valid sample.  But my general sense is that the bugs I encounter are like this: not flat-out wrong operation, but software that doesn't match the way people operate.  That's better than when I first started using computers in the '70s and '80s.  But we know how to make better software. So, I think we're making progress, just rather slowly.

So, keep demanding that software work right.  We'll get there (eventually).


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