92 points by xwenf a day ago
1 is not even close to true. I was a Gmail SRE at the time. Sends did not take 5 seconds at the time, they were handed off to the MTA right away. The MTA had the ability to delay delivery due to other projects and Gmail decided to use that feature to build undo send.
Was gonna say, I remember that being a Gmail Labs feature for a while. I opted in the first time I noticed it in the labs, and I feel like it took a long while to reach the public.
Ditto. Used it for years and was actually confused when it became a normal feature.
What is MTA?
>What is MTA?
Metropolitan Transit Authority.
No wonder sends were so slow...
Mail Transport Agent
Message transfer agent
One of my favorite bug to feature stories is hidden files in unix starting with a period. In unix the current directory is . and the previous directory is .. Early on those directories where simply hidden by not showing anything that started with a period. Quickly though people realized they could not show their own files simply by starting the filename with a period.
Really should have had skiing in Tribes on there. Holding down the jump button reduced friction to zero, so players could slide down hillsides at high speeds and launch themselves into the air by going over bumps. Every attempt at reviving the franchise has struggled with implenting skiing as a properly intentional feature, and not quite recaptured the magic.
Former comp tribes player reporting in.
Skiing didn’t work by holding the jump button though. You had to continuously jump while going down a hill to “ski”. This lead to players writing a script that continuously jumped and binding that to a button that was held to “ski”.
OP may have been thinking of Tribes 2, where you could just hold the jump button with no additional scripts.
That is indeed the case.
And also everything in GunZ.
The Fog of War video game idiom predates both Silent Hill, and every platform it runs on.
I'm not really sure we should be touting the sexism in bust size as bug or feature here. It's mostly just sickening.
Deep Blue making a random move doesn't sound like a bug to me. Certainly not in the usual sense. It seems like a fairly reasonable choice, if no better one is presented.
Game boobs are certainly cringeworthy and maybe symptomatic of a sexist worldview that's unfair and therefore, to use a trumpism, sad.
But if commercially-driven fanservice made out of pixels is sickening, what word have we got left for clitoris mutilation and burqas and other such uncomfortably extreme instances of oppression?
"Wrong", "bad", "abhorent", etc.
Sickening is not a moral judgement, it is an observation about what emotions get invoked.
I ambiguously said “words”, it’s true — but what I was referring to is precisely the moral deadening that this state of constant heightened emotion must bring about.
Correct - I've heard that's why Doom had so many double doors and sharp corners, to shorten the size / depth / view angle of what would need to be rendered.
Completely agree with you on #2 as well - I'd go further, it sounds like an excuse you make when you wanted to do something but knew it wasn't normally justifiable. If that account is true, it's sad as well as plain sexist.
Curious what your working definition of "sexism" is in this scenario?
They should add Nuclear Gandhi from the Civilization games as one of the most amusing examples of this.
There was a similar bug in the Robotron 2084 arcade game; rather than rushing you, an arithmetic overflow would send some enemies to the far side of the screen, where they would continue to fire at you (and were much harder to hit). It was a bug that the developers liked so much that they kept it in.
Then there's the game Goat Simulator, where the developers promised to intentionally keep many bugs in the game, for amusement value. I think it worked well.
That may actually not have been a bug 
a software bug - when the machine did not know what to do, it made a random move
Depending on the specs that's not really a bug. I mean, it's not like "when the machine did not know what to do, it invoked undefined behavior"
If the random move was invoked when an exception was caught, I think I can defend saying a bug saved the game, but the wording makes it sound like the machine did what it was supposed to and the Deep Blue team just godt lucky.
Street fighter 2's combo system was a bug: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/203382/Street_Fighter_II...
"It's not a bug, It's a feature !"
Yes that is what this thread is about
My favourite story about a bug in a game is GTA. The police cars were supposed to stop you nicely by braking right in front of you. But a small bug cause the cops to crash into the players car at full speed. End of the story: they decided to keep the psycho cops.
I think maybe a few additional details should be mentioned.
1) GTA was originally envisioned as a racing game. You would race against other players in inner-city settings, but this meant you could end up ramming other cars, running over pedestrians, etc. If that happened too many times, cops would pursue you.
2) The cops were supposed to come out and pursue you if you did too many bad things and, as you said, do it "gently". The bug in the cop AI, however, made them insanely aggressive to the point that they would also hit other cars, run over pedestrians, and cause just as much damage as the player in pursuit of pulling them over.
3) The devs thought the "psycho cops" were so hilarious that they didn't just keep them in--they reoriented the entire game around the concept of causing mayhem (rather than racing).
A surprising amount of CSS development would probably fit the bill as well. So many times I've produced unexpected results that looked just as good or better than my original intent.
That's the whole artistic process though.
"Hey, wait a minute, that wrong note actually sounds really cool there. Let me try to build upon it."
John Lennon famously loaded a tape reel backwards while stoned and discovered how cool backwards music sounded. This led directly to the recording of Rain.
Sums up most of my experiences when I try web dev haha.
"Oooh that's neat... Not sure how I did it though."
Not a single one of these things is a bug. Design decisions, workarounds for hardware limitations, etc. But not bugs.
I disagree. Without knowing the details, there is no way to know for sure if the source of the 5 second delay was an actual bug. And the way programs where written back then, the space invaders issue looks like an unintended bug which was then simply kept in.
Without looking at the GMail details, you don't know period, so you should neither agree nor disagree.
Others who do know have chimed in. For example: "1 is not even close to true. I was a Gmail SRE at the time. Sends did not take 5 seconds at the time, they were handed off to the MTA right away. The MTA had the ability to delay delivery due to other projects and Gmail decided to use that feature to build undo send."
So, not a bug.
As for Space Invaders, the game designer, Tomohiro Nishikado, knew about the issue from the beginning, and specifically chose not to compensate for the change in rendering speed. He could have easily done so. He liked the way it played. When you intentionally design a thing a certain way, it's not a bug.
Yes there is. a) A 5 second delay might be a bug but a user would never notice anyway so it wouldn't be motivation to add "unsend", so this is probably nonsense. b) The second example is wrong (distance fog is way way older than the example they gave) which leads me to suspect the entire list is nonsense, and c) someone who worked on Gmail has replied here saying it is rubbish.
I believe Bunny Hopping in the quake series is a good example
Wallrunning in Doom is another nice one:
it's quite incredible how much has come out of this glitch. There are many servers up on CS:GO dedicated to bhopping, as well as whole games built around it.
This reminds me of Gunz, an early aughts PvP game whose dedicated community formed itself around several of the games broken mechanics and bugs. To play Gunz you basically have to master glitches, it really could have its own article dedicated to it
I ctrl'ed F this page looking for just this. I loved Gunz, the different style's that existed were insane! K-Style was most prominent, but there were others like D-Style, Environment Style, and so on.
yeah. i remember when they finally nerfed it (cs 1.5 era?) so that it reset your speed to the max speed when you touched the ground... some people were pissed. in half life deathmatch, they actually made a pro-mod (adrenaline gamer) to put it back in https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=78376...
My two favorite bugs that became features:
1. "true black" dyes in Ultima Online 
2. Skiing in the game Tribe 
[*] wow, the numbering here is real confusing!
Not to be prescriptive, but that is why I don't do the "hip" thing of numbering from 0.
The question of whether 0 is a natural number or not, is from a category theorist's point of view, rather quixotic. The category theorist in question would either say: "of course it is a natural number" or "of course it is immaterial".
The only situation in which one should panic, I think, is if the answer is "of course it is not a natural number". In this latter instance I think that you have a problem and that the ring theorist from the office next door has taken polyjuice potion and tied your professor up in the magical trunk, frow which you can probably by now hear feint moaning.
> Not to be prescriptive, but that is why I don't do the "hip" thing of numbering from 0.
Are there any old HN threads discussing/debating this? I’d be interested in hearing both perspectives. Any idea who started this trend and how long it’s been around? I once looked at some super old threads to see if it’s been a thing from the beginning and I didn’t see anyone doing it.
Personally, I think it stems from HN readers having a chronic inclination to try to be clever (myself included and no judgment intended).
But it's not a natural numbers. Natural numbers are defined as 1 and up, and--
No, I'm not a ring theorist, why do you ask?
It's a joke that is meant to both criticise category theorists and ring theorests (elsewhere on HN someone mentioned these kind of jokes have a name).
But I don't think anyone here understood the joke. For a category theorest N and N_0 are equivalent. You have an initial number and a successor function, that's it.
For a concrete mathematician, such as a ring theorist, it is much more important whether it's a natural number or not. They ask questions about numbers and how you can study properties of numbers (like number theorists).
So my point was that if you find a category theorist insisting that 1 is a natural number and that 0 is not, then they don't view it as a set with an initial number and successor function. This would be somewhat unusual. For that matter you can start at 42 and include all numbers > 42. Then you can just get back to N via a bijection.
it's because most computer languages are 0 indexed, nothing to do with being hip.
That is exactly my point: it is a fashionable trend.
1. Not necessarily a bug. Just slow software.
2. Not a bug.
3. A real stretch to call this a bug.
4. Seems lika a real bug without researching more.
5. Not a bug.
I'm not exactly sure I'd call 4 a feature though either -- just dumb luck.
And from the reading, it sounds like this was intentional behavior: Make a random move if there is no clear good move.
4. absolutely does not sound like a bug at all. Making a random move if you don't know what to do is the obvious right thing to do.
When using ScreenSharing on the Mac, CMD + Tab used to switch between apps on the local Mac (like using any other app). Which means, to switch apps on the remote Mac, you needed to use the Dock or some other method.
Then at some point a few years ago, CMD + Tab changed to switching between apps on the remote Mac, which also makes sense since you're working on the remote computer. But then you need another way to switch out of ScreenSharing on the local Mac.
Then for a year or two, it seemed random which computer's app switcher you'd yet.
Now it seems to take into account whether an actual window on the remote computer has been given focus since switching over to ScreenSharing or not. I can't quite place the logic, but it seems to do what I expect most of the time now.
I have no idea which of these scenarios was actually the bug and which is/was the feature.
Zelda 3, a link to the past on SNES has a coin room, known as Chris Houlihan's Room.
Basically what happens is if an exception is caught during a screen transition, instead of crashing the game, it will load this room.
I believe a lot of older games had something like this, in order to run for a very long time, which was usually demanded by console publishers.
I am glad Kasparov and Deep Blue is mentioned here. Kasparov still does active research in chess (and especially computer aided human chess). And all the while I was under the impression that chess had been "solved" in the 90's...
A list of FIVE random, questionable bugs, I thought it was something more serious.
Well, speaking of bugs, the Skyrim Giant Space Program is my favorite so far, probably because it caught me by surprise the first time. Your first giant encounter usually happens after you killed an actual dragon, the top predator. How tough could these guys be?
The DeepBlue one doesn't seem to be a bug to me. If multiple moves seem equally good then choosing one at random seems like a fine decision making process
Add the PostIt by 3M to the list. Failed glue project.
"a slip of his mouse turned an intended 50% increase to her breast size into a 150% gain."
A slip of the mouse? lol
Super smash bros melee's wave dashing and l canceling were bugs that super charged the competitive scene
L cancelling is not a bug, it is an altered feature from smash 64, where it was called Z-cancelling and removed all of the lag from aerial attacks.
I also have a hard time to believe, that wavedashing is a bug, as they specificlly implemented a state transition for wavelanding (hitting the ground while in the airdodge animation), it is more a clever exploitation of this mechanic by jumping and immediatly airdodging into the ground, thus carrying over a whole lot of momentum.
As described in https://2ality.com/2013/10/typeof-null.html
Halo 2 had the bxr bug (sequence of the “b” button, the “x” button, and the right-trigger). If you executed the sequence with the right timing, aim, and proximity, it would immediately kill a nearby opponent (“b” triggered a melee which took down enemy shields, “x” cancelled the cooldown animation of the melee to begin the “reload” animation, and the right trigger would cancel the reload animation and shoot the opponent. Headshots on does with no shields were one-hit kills. This was a great bug because anyone could do it, but it required a lot of skill to execute. https://youtu.be/H8HtTQOXKA4
Superbouncing on the other hand was just annoying.
The problem with bxr is the rest of the game, maps, modes, weapons etc were not balanced around the br one shotting people. As someone who used it frequently I was not a fan and it only felt fun when other people didn't know how to do it yet which is bad game design.
Disagree. It brought balance to the game; otherwise it was about getting to the power weapons the fastest. This meant you had meaningful fights all over the map instead of the just clustering around rocket launcher spawn. I also played mostly MLG game modes where you started with battle rifles instead of SMGs, so that might explain some of our disagreement.
*foes, not "does" (autocorrect / missed the edit window)
Slient hill have a bug? I didn't know that