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Unit testing involves writing a test for every function (unit) that a program is to perform.In test-driven development unit tests are written before the code and the code is not considered complete until all tests complete successfully.Agile software development involves frequent software releases with relatively small changes. Open source development allows anyone to examine source code. Raymond as Linus's Law says that popular open-source software has more chance of having few or no bugs than other software, because "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow".This assertion has been disputed, however: computer security specialist Elias Levy wrote that "it is easy to hide vulnerabilities in complex, little understood and undocumented source code," because, "even if people are reviewing the code, that doesn't mean they're qualified to do so." An example of this actually happening, accidentally, was the 2008 Open SSL vulnerability in Debian.This was initially dismissed as pilot error, but an investigation by Computer Weekly convinced a House of Lords inquiry that it may have been caused by a software bug in the aircraft's engine-control computer.
The process of fixing bugs is termed "debugging" and often uses formal techniques or tools to pinpoint bugs, and since the 1950s, some computer systems have been designed to also deter, detect or auto-correct various computer bugs during operations.The report "highlights the need for reform in the field of software vulnerability discovery and disclosure." One of the report’s authors said that Congress has not done enough to address cyber software vulnerability, even though Congress has passed a number of bills to combat the larger issue of cyber security."The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act criminalize and create civil penalties for actions that security researchers routinely engage in while conducting legitimate security research, the report said." There is ongoing debate over the use of the term "bug" to describe software errors.The concept that software might contain errors dates back to Ada Lovelace's 1843 notes on the analytical engine, in which she speaks of the possibility of program "cards" for Charles Babbage's analytical engine being erroneous: ...an analysing process must equally have been performed in order to furnish the Analytical Engine with the necessary operative data; and that herein may also lie a possible source of error.
A program that contains a large number of bugs, and/or bugs that seriously interfere with its functionality, is said to be buggy (defective).