We’d like to ship NetNewsWire 5.0 for iOS in the first quarter of this year. The app is really close, but there are a few bugs to fix, including some crashes.
We’re sticklers about crashes: while there’s no way to guarantee the app will never crash — because there are bugs in other parts of the system that we can’t control — we want to get the number of crash reports as close to zero as we can. Ideally we’d go days or weeks between seeing a crash report.
This is about the craft of app-making. It’s about being responsible.
But it’s also about math. Consider this:
NetNewsWire for iOS could have 100,000 users. It’s relatively high-profile, in a popular category, and free.
So if we get it down to, say, a 1% chance that a given user will hit a crash on any given day, that sounds pretty good, right?
But that 1% chance means we’d get 1,000 crash reports per day. In other words, a 1% chance is very, very bad.
If we get it down to a 0.1% chance, we’d still get 100 crash reports per day. At that level, a given user could go, on average, 500 days between crashes. Which sounds great! Sounds like a super-stable app!
But that would mean 100 crash reports a day, which is still a massive number of crashes.
We need to do way better than that. (We will.)