"Geeks" and licensing

From: John Allain <allain_at_panix.com>
Date: Sat Dec 15 19:25:48 2001

>For a little bit of on-topic goodness, what is the group's opinion on the
>trend of software engineering quality starting from ancient times? Have
>we improved (practially, not academically) or worsened?

For me there was an inflection around 1990.
Before that time there were some heroic efforts that yielded
some amazing products, clear documentation, 100% predictable
operation. Many of these products tended to sell in the $10K to
$80K range.
After that time (now) we have the 'acceptable level of bugs' era
with product prices more like $0.1K to $1K, but then companies
having to run TCO calculations, with all the new problems.
1991 was the first time I heard someone argue that making 100%
Bug-Free code was Impossible.

Now, right at the inflection point came the incredible mass market
success of MS Wind. Internally, I tend to see this it as the Sept11
of software engineering.

There was a research topic a while back called 'Automatic Program
Verification', sort of a mathematically based test case compiler.
I have been away from academia for too long. I wonder how that
movement went.

John A.
Received on Sat Dec 15 2001 - 19:25:48 GMT

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