Blocked waiting for my either the software development group to give me new code to test or my FreeBSD build VM to give me a new OS build to test, so how about some random thoughts on programming?
I've reached the inescapable conclusion that all software development cycles can be expressed as a single equation: y=tan(x+(π/2))
X represents time (on a totally non-linear scale) with each interval of width π being the development of a software release and the zero point where the function crosses the X axis representing the release of the X/πth version. The Y axis represents the state of the code - how "bug free" it is. I'll call the Y value within a version the "completeness" of the code for simplicity.
This functional model actually works surprisingly well:
During pre-0.0 release (X|0...π/2) the software is riddled with bugs and brokenness ("completeness" is negative - that shit don't work!).
At some point (X=(π+ε)/2) the software becomes at least functional (miniscule positive completeness), and is released to the unsuspecting public.
The initial release is buggy as shit, and massive patching and bug fixing happens
(This is roughly from X|(π+ε)/2...3π/2 -- For the sake of argument let's call the 3π/2 mark the .1 release, or in MS parlance, "Service Pack 1")
The software continues asymptotically approaching infinite completeness -- that nirvana state of having no bugs...
...At which point Marketing comes along and says the users want new features -- On our graph this corresponds to one of the vertical asymptote at multiples of π.
Development begins on the next (N/π)-dot-zero release, starting al over again from negative completeness.
In practical terms software development is not a true function: Each development window is independent and shifted toward X=0, with some overlap between the currently released version and the version under development.