We found a bug in Internet Explorer. It was acknowledged as such in two months of exhausting e-mail communication and no fix was promised.

We found a bug in open source library. It got fixed over weekend after we raised an issue.

This summarises everything I wanted to share in this post. I have more, so continue reading.

As a disclaimer, I want to say that I don’t attempt to have a comprehensive look at open source versus closed source. This is just an example of what happened in my project.

Closed source code case with Internet Explorer

We use Microsoft technologies wherever possible unless there is no sensible solution to a problem we need to solve. Application we implemented is a large offline capable single page application with tons of controls rendered at once. We noticed that IE crashes after prolonged usage of the app, though we were not experiencing the same in other bowsers. It took us a while to realise that there was a legitimate memory leak in IE. More details on how we tried to troubleshoot the issue are here. Afterwards we started long and boring communication with Microsoft, which ended in them acknowledging a bug in IE. Actually, it was a known bug. They said that attempts to fix this bug caused them more troubles, so it is unlikely that the fix will appear in any of IE11 updates or in Edge browser. We got an approval for our users to use Chrome as it doesn’t have this memory issues and in general is much faster.

Open source code case with Jurassic

The app has plenty of shared logic that we want to execute both on client and server. We decided that we want it to be written in JavaScript. As our backend is .NET we used Jurassic library to compile JavaScript code on the server and then to execute it whenever we needed it. We also tried to use Edge.js, but at the moment we are not happy about its stability when run under IIS.

We stumbled upon an interesting bug. IL code emitted by Jurassic library was causing System.InvalidProgramException on some environments. We narrowed it down to a continue statement used in for loop. We noticed that this was only used in moment.js library. We modified the code of moment.js to avoid using continue statements. This fixed the issue so were already covered by open source since we could modify it. Of course, we didn’t stop there and posted a bug on Jurassic’s forum. The guy had a look over weekend and fixed the issue for us.

Conclusion

Of course, this is just one example where using open source proved to be a nice way to go. It doesn’t always work like that and at times it is a wrong choice. I mainly wanted to share this as it was such a striking and contrasting difference for me personally.

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