Wacky Bugs

Ever seen a really wacky bug that you just couldn’t explain?

I had one of those panics earlier this week. After releasing Maven 1.0.2 with just a few small fixes discovered in the month since the last release, I was fairly confident that we could now close that branch. To the point that I deleted my branch checkout from my laptop, with CVS HEAD being the code I’d work on permanently.

Then after arriving at work the next day, I saw a number of complaints of a regression that caused Maven startup to be very slow. This being in an area of code that hadn’t changed. What had gone wrong?

Luckily, it turned out that it just went away some hours later.

Why? Well, I built the distributions locally, then uploaded them from here. The code in question was checking timestamps – if an installed plugin was newer, unpack it locally and set the timestamp to “now”. But I’m at +11 GMT, though apparently .zip and .exe don’t record that – just the time. So the rest of the world hadn’t caught up.

I found it funny in the end. Next time I’ll have to build the releases 20 hours in advance 🙂

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