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Coders Try Debugging Shutdown and Constitution on GitHub

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, October 9 2013

Could the answer to the government shutdown be debugging the Constitution?

That's the solution several coders and developers are jokingly suggesting on a GitHub thread first posted by Dave Rupert, lead developer for Paravel, an Austin, Tex., web design company.

Earlier today he posted the following in a section of the White House's GitHub repository:

I noticed a bug over the past week or so and it seems reproducible:

Go to U.S. Government.
U.S. Government is shut down.

Expected results: Government should be working.

I'm unable to debug or propose a fix since there's not an open, transparent stack trace. Conflicting error messages are being thrown as well.

Hope you can resolve this soon. It would seem that the U.S. Government would value 100% uptime in order to be a reliable and trustworthy source for the rest of the world.

Thanks! Love this project and would like to continue using it.

The post has prompted many more very nerdy, but hilarious, programmer jokes and suggestions. Among the funniest:

  • "Looks like new code added to the getter on healthCare() is causing some of the constitution tests to fail."

  • "Confirmed. Oddly enough, the Canadian fork of this seems to be working fine."

  • "the method :

    republicanAnswer(NSString)question (NSObject)party{
    if( party.democratic){
    return NO;
    }else if (party.republican){
    return YES;
    }

    seems broken"

  • "When I ran strace, I found fsync was hanging on /dev/passed-legislation/aca"

  • "Note that @JeffersonDavis actually forked this project before. A lot of people contributed, but @WhiteHouse had IP concerns and shut that down."

  • "Well when we have a habit of changing project manager every four years, what did you expect to happen? Inconsistent leadership builds crappy software."

  • "The issue seems to originate from a commit on 1776-07-04."

The theme of "debugging" the shutdown had earlier already been circulating on Twitter and elsewhere in the following post:

(via @MichaelRoston)