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It seems to me that every few weeks Jeff is changing the rep system again. More problems demand more answers, right? More bugs demand more fixes. If I were still fixing bugs on a certain aspect of a program that I released 3 years ago, I would say that there is probably something fundamentally wrong with how I had originally done that problem part.

Am I mistaken in this observation or is something really wrong here?

Please understand I am not saying it definitely beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt is flawed. Something just seemed wrong to me, so I came to the ever wise Meta community for them to point out that it was my thinking. :P

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When did the reputation change? (Please update the recent changes overview if applicable!) – Arjan Apr 7 '11 at 19:19
@Arjan: The 2K rep cap on questions (not sure if that was actually implemented), 2 rep per approved edit, changing Meta question vote's worth, etc. – John Apr 7 '11 at 19:24
@Robert: but were you constantly changing one certain part of it for several years? These sites are huge with many different issues, but it seems they are always changing one part. The rep system. – John Apr 7 '11 at 19:26
So, no real changes. The peer review editing is new, hence got its own enhancements for reputation too. And just an adjustment for the reputation on Meta, to avoid confusion. How does that qualify as "flawed", and how is it "every few weeks"? – Arjan Apr 7 '11 at 19:27
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The fundamental flaw in your question is that you're conflating changes and bug fixes. Not every change to software is the result of a bug. Requirements change over time. If people are still using your software after 3 years, then your original implementation must have been pretty close to the mark to begin with.

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Nine year old milk ;-) – Arjan Apr 7 '11 at 19:32
@Arjan: As hated as IE6 is by developers, it is, by almost any meaningful measure, a huge software success. – Robert Harvey Apr 7 '11 at 19:36
@Arjan: We just started testing applications for a planned upgrade from IE6 to IE8 yesterday. Hopefully it will happen this year. Stop taunting me! :) – Bill the Lizard Apr 7 '11 at 19:37
Respect! – Toon Krijthe Apr 7 '11 at 20:04

In my last job I worked on a software product for six years, adding enhancements and fixing bugs. At no time during that development was the product ever completely bug-free.

In StackOverflow's case, the rep system has changed in minor ways because the user community has changed, not because the software had major bugs.

Originally StackOverflow was populated with people who, for the most part, cared about the community and were invested in its success. Today StackOverflow is being flooded with wannabe newbies who come from a forum culture, and their motivations are far different.

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Six years fixing bugs and the product still has bugs? I bet you worked for Microsoft :P – Aleadam Apr 7 '11 at 19:45
@Aleadam: Actually, the product was never bug free because it was a highly-useful non-trivial application that was constantly evolving over time (much like the vast majority of genuinely useful programs out there). We could have instead wrote a trivial, boring application that was bug free and did nothing useful, but we didn't find that idea particularly interesting (or revenue generating). – Robert Harvey Apr 7 '11 at 19:49
I understand that, I just could not resist the bad joke. – Aleadam Apr 7 '11 at 19:52

Nothing is perfect. You have got to learn from your mistakes and find improvements by time. It makes yourself and your product better.

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