"It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature"

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu Nov 6 20:51:24 UTC 2003

On Thu, Nov 06, 2003 at 12:12:08PM -0500, Fred Shapiro wrote:
> I'm trying to trace the earliest usage of the computer saying "It's not a
> bug, it's a feature."  The earliest on Gooja is Jan. 25, 1983.  The
> earliest on Nexis is Mar. 21, 1985 for a wire service story and July 1989
> for a print publication.  Can anyone supply earlier evidence (pre-July
> 1989 in print or pre-Jan. 25, 1983 for any kind of source)?

1981 _CoEvolution Quarterly_ (Spring) 30/1 Feature...See BUG. "That's
not a bug, that's a feature!" A bug can be changed to a feature by
documenting it.

This is, to my knowledge, the earliest published version of the
Jargon File, which was later published as the Hacker's Dictionary
in various slightly varying names and editions.

Jesse Sheidlower

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