A bug in the KDE Linux desktop that made penguin-powered computers spill their cookie jars has been resolved after more than a decade.
The flaw in the free-software environment is best described as a glitch or irritant rather than anything serious, but it did cause some systems to forget their web cookies after a reboot or shutdown - throwing users out of websites and forcing them to log in again.
At first, it was thought the bug was in the "Reject Cross-Domain Cookies" feature of the KDE Libraries, although further probing traced the fault to an uninitialised variable in the platform's cookie jar.
It appears nobody complained about the oversight, so it was only when developer Thiago Macieira came across the error and fixed it in revision 794b14b8 last week that its existence came to light.
"For several months now, all my cookies would be forgotten after a kded restart," Macieira explained. "After debugging the problem, it turns out that mCrossDomain was of value 127, which makes no sense for a boolean."
"This variable has been present since 2002, which means that the 'reject cross domain cookies' feature has been broken for 10 years and 8 months," he added.
Macieira's explanation makes clear that the minor bug was resolved easily and with minimal fuss. Any complex software package harbours all sorts of long-hidden bugs, some of which are probably never identified and fixed. Still, is a decade between the inclusion of a bug and its resolution something of a record? There must surely be big-iron software running for longer with glitches allowed to stand or that remain hidden. Let us know in The Register forums. ®