Re: [SystemSafety] Categorising "errors" [was: Stupid Software Errors]

From: C. Michael Holloway < >
Date: Tue, 5 May 2015 07:46:01 -0400

On 5/4/15 7:21 PM, Drew Rae wrote:
> Does anyone else find it remarkable that a company is publicly
> releasing information about a potential problem with a system, even
> though their own understanding of how the system is used suggests that
> the conditions that would cause the problem are unlikely to exist?
Yes, I find it remarkable. Getting such information from companies has usually been very hard, even with confidentiality and anonymity agreements in place. Rather than lamenting the stupidity of programmers, I'm inclined to be celebrating the (rare) openness of the lawyers. Recognizing, however, that the motivations for the release of information likely are not entirely altruistic.
> ... I'm optimistic enough to see this as a sign of progress.
Few people have ever called me optimistic (where 'few' is defined as <1), but I am encouraged by the disclosure. Public discussion of safety-related issues by industry may do more to reduce the likelihood of "stupid software errors" continuing to be made for many more years than any of the techniques and tools mentioned in this thread. Or, to be slightly more precise, the public discussion may prompt changes in industry practices that will lead to the regular use of better techniques and tools that otherwise would not be used regularly.

*C. Michael Holloway*, Senior Research Engineer
Safety Critical Avionics Systems Branch, Research Directorate
NASA Langley Research Center / MS 130 Hampton VA 23681-2199 USA
office phone: +1.757.864.1701 /often forwarded to/ +1.757.598.1707

The words in this message are mine alone; neither blame nor credit NASA 
for them.

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Received on Tue May 05 2015 - 13:46:15 CEST

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