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Re: One of *those* bugs...
From `The New Hacker's Dictionary,' The MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-68069-6, and a
must read for any non-serious hacker:
`heisenbug /hi:'zen-buhg/ [from Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in quantum
physics] n. A bug that disappears or alters its behavior when one attempts to
probe or isolate it. Antonym of Bohr bug; see also mandelbug. In C, nine out
of ten heisenbugs result from either fandango on core phenomena (esp. lossage
related to corruption of the malloc arena) or errors that smash the stack.'
It's worth pointing out that in this definition, the phrases `Bohr bug,'
`mandelbug,' `fandango on core,' `arena,' and `smash the stack' are all in
boldface, meaning that they are entries in their own right.
I seriously recommend this book. I'd been using the term `automagically' for
years without ever knowing where it came from, and I remember splitting my
sides laughing when Andrew Shalit described a meeting to me as `a content-free