For EVE Online fans interested in the ugly details, CCP has posted a dev blog detailing the events leading up to the release of the Windows-killing Trinity patch, as well as offering some insight into how potentially similar problems will be avoided in the future.
Reported by Slashdot, the blog entry is described as "fairly dry," but provides a high level of detail about the events surrounding the failure to detect the bug. The EVE Online: Trinity update, which gave a significant upgrade to the game's graphics and gameplay options, contained a scripting glitch which resulted in the patch overwriting the BOOT.INI file in some Windows XP installations, rendering the operating system non-functional.
"It might appear from the installer log that we made the mistake of explicitly deleting BOOT.INI instead of just BOOT.INI. The former would delete the file from the root of the current drive whereas the later would only delete from the current working directory," Dr. Erlender S. Thorsteinsson, director of the EVE Online Software Group, wrote in the blog entry. "It is not quite so; the mistake was to assume that the file would be deleted from the current working directory without giving the full path."
"The fix we made to the installer script was not to explicitly delete these two files but rather implicitly overwrite them," he wrote. "That fix was made in the early morning after the release, on 6 December at 06:08 GMT, and a fixed graphics content upgrade was released shortly thereafter. The faulty upgrade had been pulled from Tranquility a few hours after the problem was discovered."
Describing the problem as a result of "legacy," Thorsteinsson said that CCP is now reviewing all filename in the EVE code and changing any that conflicts with Windows. He also touched on steps the company has taken to assist users affected by this problem, including arrangements with "external support technicians" such as Geek Squad, as well as changes in CCP testing procedures to help avoid similar situations in the future. The full EVE Insider dev blog entry is available here.