[LINK] What's a reasonable level of code-checking?
dlochrin at d2.net.au
Thu Aug 17 16:57:31 EST 2006
On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 10:51, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> The software which exists very close to a physical environment can and does benefit from the disciplines of engineering. That's because its behaviour is closely tied to the physical world.
> However the sort of software that works in the more conceptual environment of human information is much less amenable to an engineering approach.
Here I beg to differ.
Developing reliable and properly engineered software in any environment requires an appropriate end-to-end "process" which begins with a specification of the process itself, continues with development of formal software requirements, and extends through to testing & maintenance. Properly developed business software is no less "engineered" than biomedical or other embedded software, whether or not the physical world forms part of the system.
This can be contrasted with some personal & business software which seems obviously hacked, in some cases straight from head to keyboard.
> Checking code will only get you so far. Unless you understand the data, and their meanings - which aren't in the code - you won't be able to predict how the software will behave. And data inside a computer are not the same as in the physical world.
Quite so, but such checks are part of any properly engineered software. In the case of biomedical software, a large input to the development process is the appropriate regulatory framework.
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