Why are NCBI GFF3 files still broken?

For the early part of my career in Bioinformatics I was able to avoid GFF3 files - initially I focused on finished annotated genomes from the NCBI in plain text GenBank format (which has complications of its own), but with genome sequencing becoming widespread, so too is genome assembly and annotation. And for this, you will have to learn about GFF3 files.


Opening up NCBI BLAST?

The BLAST chapter of the Biopython Tutorial (PDF) starts with these lines by Brad Chapman,
Hey, everybody loves BLAST right? I mean, geez, how can get it get any easier to do comparisons between one of your sequences and every other sequence in the known world?

I know what he meant - but it turns out things could be easier, especially once you start running "standalone BLAST" on your own machines, rather than using the NCBI's ever improving BLAST website. Part of the problem is setting up BLAST and its databases can be complicated (especially on a cluster), but also inevitably, BLAST has bugs.

This isn't a slight on the NCBI, any non-trivial software product will have bugs. I'm more concerned with how they are dealt with.