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[From Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle in quantum physics] A bug that disappears or alters its behaviour when one attempts to probe or isolate it. (This usage is not even particularly fanciful; the use of a debugger sometimes alters a program’s operating environment significantly enough that buggy code, such as that which relies on the values of uninitialised memory, behaves quite differently.)

Some significant causes of heisenbugs:

This is not always possible; in the cases where it isn’t, it may be helpful to comment the code a little to remind yourself to initialize the variable correctly should you refactor the code later.

See also: SchroedinBug, BohrBug.

[Originally copied from:]

See also:

Discussion: —-

Just a quick attempt at fleshing out this page. Comments + suggestions welcome. (Rewrite the wheel was a joke, btw.)

*‘Re-cast would be good. Wheels being made of iron, in many cases. Just ironing out the details. With a little irony. Sorry about “steel”ing your thunder. Or testing your mettle.*

Okay, I submit! You’ve stolen my punder.