The CADT Model
© 2003 Jamie Zawinski <>

In February 2003, a bunch of the outstanding bugs I'd reported against various GNOME programs over the previous couple of years were all closed as follows:

Because of the release of GNOME 2.0 and 2.2, and the lack of interest in maintainership of GNOME 1.4, the gnome-core product is being closed. If you feel your bug is still of relevance to GNOME 2, please reopen it and refile it against a more appropriate component. Thanks...

This is, I think, the most common way for my bug reports to open source software projects to ever become closed. I report bugs; they go unread for a year, sometimes two; and then (surprise!) that module is rewritten from scratch -- and the new maintainer can't be bothered to check whether his new version has actually solved any of the known problems that existed in the previous version.

I'm so totally impressed at this Way New Development Paradigm. Let's call it the "Cascade of Attention-Deficit Teenagers" model, or "CADT" for short.

It hardly seems worth even having a bug system if the frequency of from-scratch rewrites always outstrips the pace of bug fixing. Why not be honest and resign yourself to the fact that version 0.8 is followed by version 0.8, which is then followed by version 0.8?

But that's what happens when there is no incentive for people to do the parts of programming that aren't fun. Fixing bugs isn't fun; going through the bug list isn't fun; but rewriting everything from scratch is fun (because "this time it will be done right", ha ha) and so that's what happens, over and over again.

[ up ]