1. 13

    When did the definition of bit rot change? Bit rot is when your storage has bits flip and slowly corrupts, solved by filesystem a like ZFS which checksum the data and can heal/repair the damage automatically.

    1. 8

      No, that’s the original definition from pre-ESR Jargon File.

      bit rot: n. Also {bit decay}. Hypothetical disease the existence of which has been deduced from the observation that unused programs or features will often stop working after sufficient time has passed, even if `nothing has changed’.

      1. 2

        I agree, bit rot is corrupt data on disk. I like to use the term software entropy for what this article is talking about.

        1. 2

          I agree, the phenomenon described in the linked article is more accurately denoted as “technical debt”.

          1. 4

            I don’t think tech debt is the right description. Even a very well constructed program needs maintenance to keep up with the changing APIs and systems its dependencies run on. This is just software maintenance.

            1. 3

              I agree with you. Technical debt is better applied to decisions during the design and implementation phase coming back to haunt you (in my opinion).

              But “bit rot” is definitely incorrect in this context!