As an IT software and consultancy firm, we see lot’s of bugs. What I seem to notice now is that the connectivity of elements of the systems we use causes more obscure bugs as we go.

One I have had since I upgraded my MacBook Pro to El Capitan a few weeks back, is my email crashed when I hit reply on the mail list. Consistent, and reproducible. Easy to find the issue huh? No.

Not mail config, no bugs reported, few other people with the problem…. drove me insane.

Then I figured that if I had Safari open, mail crashed, if I didn’t mail worked. Again consistent, and re-producible. Well almost. It didn’t always crash when Safari was open. I noticed when I restarted Safari, it could last a few hours or longer without crashing.

I use Safari all the time. Who doesn’t have a browser open. And I use Safari because it ties in with the Keychain, so I don’t need to carry all my passwords etc.

But still the crash was there, often. And I shut Safari down, and it went away.

So I started Safari with one tab. Mail worked. Second tab. Mail worked. Third tab. mail worked. Fourth tab, mail crashed. Kill forth tab. Mail worked. Hmmmm.

So I put what web site I had in the fourth tab in the first tab. Mail crashed. Took it away from the site. Mail works.

On HSBC Bank, at Login, they use a Security tool called Trusteer Rapport. When I had an HSBC Login or logged in session, anywhere on Safari, mail crashes.

Now I use Chrome for HSBC (doesn’t use Keychain anyway), and mail is good.

So complexity, of two seemingly unrelated bits of software, can cause failures that are very difficult to track down. Remember that next time you see an issue or get frustrated that your software supplier doesn’t find your issue immediately.

Of course that doesn’t apply to our software….

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