Facebook fixes long-standing iOS bug, eliminating 50 percent of app crashes

Car-Crashes

It’s hard to know what to make of an app update that promises to “cut crash rates in half.” If you’re a glass-half-full kind of guy, you’re happy with the increased stability. If you’re a glass-half-empty guy, though, you wonder why the hell they can’t get around to fixing the other 50 percent of unexpected software crashes.

I’m sort of a glass-half-empty kind of guy, at least when it comes to Facebook. So when they announce that their latest update to the Facebook for iPhone and iPad app has “solved a long-term mobile debugging problem and reduced the crash rate for people using the Facebook for iOS app by more than 50%,” I wonder why the hell a multibillion dollar corporation can’t fix the other half.

Still, even I’ll admit that 50 percent less crashes is better than 50 percent more crashes. According to Facebook, the vast majority of crashes over time were attributable to a file-corruption error in the iOS Core Data System that took them months to figure out.

Facebook says it took them so long to find because of how big the Facebook codebase is:

Dealing with a large, rapidly evolving codebase can seem overwhelming at times. Everyday tasks like analyzing crashes and understanding code can turn into their own programming challenges. At these moments, it’s important to work together, brainstorm, and rely on computer programming fundamentals.

Maybe this is why Facebook is splitting out its core functionalities into separate apps: The official app has gotten too bloated to maintain properly.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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