Title text: There are probably children out there holding down spacebar to stay warm in the winter! YOUR UPDATE MURDERS CHILDREN.
Users will often try to work around bugs in software, and are sometimes able to get used to having the bugs around. Some bugs are even interpreted as features and users complain when the software authors fixed them. A similar effect may be caused by other improvements, particularly those which involve changes in the user interface.
This comic shows a somewhat extreme example. An unnamed application had a bug causing the CPU to overheat whenever the spacebar was held down too long. In version 10.17, this bug was fixed. Soon, longtimeuser4 complained that they relied on the fact that the CPU overheats if the spacebar is held down. They had stumbled across this "feature" (which is, again, more weird than usual) and took advantage of it to streamline their workflow, and they wanted an option to re-enable it.
Emacs (name originally derived from Editor MACroS) is a text editor originally written at MIT in 1976 and adopted into the GNU project in 1984. The control key sees extensive use in Emacs, and since it's hard to reach, users often remap it to Caps Lock or some other key. longtimeuser4 fixed the problem very clumsily ("horrifying," as the admin puts it) and is annoyed that their kludge no longer works. The moral of the story is that you can't please everyone.
Examples of real life changes in software which, though often acclaimed by critics, caused great annoyance among existing user base include ribbons introduced in Microsoft Office 2007, Start screen of Windows 8 or Unity desktop manager bundled with Ubuntu since version 11.10. In the latter case, developers included an option to use the older interface; for the rest, applications emulating old behavior were developed by third parties.
The title text makes a hyperbole to humorous effect; children will freeze to death during the winter because they won't be warmed by a rather unconventional heater. Making (or creating an illusion of) a connection between one's opinion and care for children's welfare is a common method of gaining public support, as such arguments are hard to deflect without sounding cruel and uncaring.
- [Changelog for version 10.17 of a piece of software.]
- One change listed: "The CPU no longer overheats when you hold down the spacebar"
- Comments: LongtimeUser4 writes: This update broke my workflow! My control key is hard to reach, so I hold spacebar instead, and I configured Emacs to interpret a rapid temperature rise as "control"e
- Admin writes: That's horrifying.
- LongtimeUser4 writes: Look, my setup works for me. Just add an option to reenable spacebar heating.
- Every change breaks someones workflow.