"It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature" (1981)

Imran Ghory imran at BITS.BRIS.AC.UK
Sat Nov 8 18:55:38 UTC 2003

On Thu, 6 Nov 2003, Tom Kysilko wrote:
> <snip><snip>
> FEATURE n. 1. A surprising property of a program.  Occasionally docu-
>    mented.  To call a property a feature sometimes means the author of
>    the program did not consider the particular case, and the program
>    makes an unexpected, although not strictly speaking an incorrect
>    response.  See BUG.  "That's not a bug, that's a feature!"  A bug
>    can be changed to a feature by documenting it.

There's a clear reference to that (but excluding the actual phrase in The
Guardian (London) (June 6, 1985),

  The key point about a bug is that is produces an unintended and unwanted
  result or property or characteristic behaviour, and this is what
  distinguishes it from a 'feature.' (Computer humour avers that
  documenting a bug turns it into a feature.)


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