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Does anyone know of an existing name for a bug that disappears the moment you call someone over to look at it? It's a funny phenomenon, but it has happened from time to time that I'm working on a bug that consistently appears, but as soon as I call over a colleague to look at it with me, the buggy behavior stops and doesn't reappear.

This is distinct from any of the other oddball bug names I've found, such as heisenbug or mandelbug, in that it's definitely there, even when attempting to study it, until it's shown to someone else.

My coworker proposed the name "Calvinbug" for this phenomenon, after Calvin & Hobbes. Thoughts?

And no, I'm not crazy. :)

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closed as not constructive by Ryathal, Blrfl, Otávio Décio, GlenH7, Caleb Jan 30 '13 at 19:49

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every user reported bug ever –  Ryathal Jan 30 '13 at 18:53
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It sounds like a form of heisenbug to me. –  Keith Thompson Jan 30 '13 at 18:55
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Loch Ness Monster Bug may be appropriate. A few related terms can be found here. –  Jim Jan 30 '13 at 19:13
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How about the Warner Brothers Dancing Frog bug? :) –  maple_shaft Jan 30 '13 at 19:22
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@maple_shaft You should phrase that in the form of an answer - I like it better than Snuffleupabugs" (because it's easier to spell), and it will be just as lost on the younger coders! –  voretaq7 Jan 30 '13 at 19:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I know of no formal term for such a bug, but I would propose the following options:

  • Schrödinger's Bug - you changed the outcome by measuring it!
  • Snuffleupabugs -- After Mr. Snuffleupagus, back when only Big Bird could see it.
    Unfortunately this one will be lost on the younger coders
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Unfortunately "Schroedinbug" is taken, but "Snuffleupabug" is pretty damn good. –  Chris Wade Jan 30 '13 at 19:40
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+1 for "Snuffleupabug", exactly what I was thinking. Make it a "Mister Snuffleupabug" for bonus credit! –  Darth Satan Jan 30 '13 at 19:43

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