Re: [SystemSafety] Another unbelievable failure (file system overflow)

From: Steve Tockey < >
Date: Fri, 29 May 2015 18:40:54 +0000

Roberto Bagnara wrote:

"One thing that strikes me is the frequency with which I see the expression "software glitch" being used to underplay huge issues in process, design, implementation, analysis, testing. I don't know what the word "glitch" suggests to a native English language speaker, but to me it sounds like an increasingly abused way to hide the reality of the issues involved."

Exactly. Same for "bug". I do my best to avoid both terms and try to consistently use "defect". Consciously or unconsciously attempting to downplay the serious consequences of defects by using cute terms is counter-productive. Along the lines of the famous "12 step recovery program" of a particular world-wide organization: "Step one is to admit you have a problem". The software industry as a whole is still completely in denial.

-----Original Message-----
From: Roberto Bagnara <bagnara_at_xxxxxx Organization: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Parma, Italy
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2015 10:00 AM
To: "systemsafety_at_xxxxxx <systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] Another unbelievable failure (file system overflow)

On 05/28/15 00:19, Heath Raftery wrote:
> On 28/05/2015 12:25 AM, Roberto Bagnara wrote:

>> According to
>>
>>    
>>http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-
>>pauses-ls-test.html
>>
>>      "As more beacons are transmitted, the file grows in size. When it
>>       reaches 32 megabytes‹roughly the size of ten compressed music
>>       files‹it can crash the flight system. The manufacturer of the
>>       avionics board corrected this glitch in later software
>>       revisions. But alas, LightSail's software version doesn't include
>>       the update."
>>
>> OK, LightSail is a sort of amateur project, but still I have a hard
>> time believing such things can happen in 2015.

>
> Interesting one Roberto. I for one, can imagine it happening in a
>resource strapped small company:

>
> Programmer: "Got that bloody file system driver working. Had to hack
>some crap together to figure out where the problem is, but I figured it
>out so I'll just go back and take out the nonsense."

> Manager: "It's working right? We have to ship!"
> Programmer: "It's working now, but it's very suspect."
> Manager: "Good, it's working. Ship now. We'll do whatever polishing you
>want in version 2."
> Programmer: "Sigh. The proverbial 'version 2' that never comes..."

One thing that strikes me is the frequency with which I see the expression "software glitch" being used to underplay huge issues in process, design, implementation, analysis, testing. I don't know what the word "glitch" suggests to a native English language speaker, but to me it sounds like an increasingly abused way to hide the reality of the issues involved.

-- 
     Prof. Roberto Bagnara

Applied Formal Methods Laboratory - University of Parma, Italy
mailto:bagnara_at_xxxxxx
                              BUGSENG srl - http://bugseng.com
                              mailto:roberto.bagnara_at_xxxxxx
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Received on Fri May 29 2015 - 20:41:04 CEST

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