Ask Only (?) 12 Questions to Fix An Issue

Yihui Xie 2017-11-21

Earlier today I received a rather weird bug report in the blogdown repo. I had no idea how file.rename() could possibly fail, and I had never received a similar report before.

Usually it is hard to fix an issue without being able to reproduce it. For this one, I only asked 12 questions before I was able to provide a fix. Below is a comparison between how programmers fix bugs or write code in movies (typing like crazy), and how they do so in reality (stare at the screen for hours without hitting a single key, cannot believe what happened, and then start doubting the meaning of life).

Programmers: in reality vs in movies.