Re: [SystemSafety] Software Safety Assessment

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2015 14:02:27 +0200

In process and manufacturing industries, we experience since the nineties two opposite trends :

· The clarification, harmonisation and strengthening of standards leading to more clear and stringent requirements

· The reduction of the budgets, of the basic competencies of the actors leading to poorer engineering

The context is fed by requirements from buyers to lower the costs and competition between suppliers to satisfy the buyers requirements.

The first who says it doesn’t work, or that there are limits to such a trend has lost …

The standards thus, at the same time, reflect under this pressure openings to “new” technologies (e.g. possibility to mix safety and non-safety) and requirements to deploy such “novelties” with adequate discipline and techniques.

Of course everybody stops at the first part of the above sentence. However less and less actors are able to understand the second part and to explain it to decision makers.

So the new standards are not “really” solving anything, but merely creating new problems more deeply embedded in the systems, until the next catastrophy.

Bertrand Ricque
Program Manager
Optronics and Defence Division
Sights Program
Mob : +33 6 87 47 84 64
Tel : +33 1 58 11 96 82

From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2015 1:54 PM
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] Software Safety Assessment

On 7/9/15 12:31 AM, Matthew Squair wrote:

... See for example the issue of DO-178C, which resolved a number of recognized problems with its predecessor 178B. I believe this sentence is misleading. Some of the changes made in DO-178C were *intended to address* recognized problems in 178B. Whether those changes *resolved* the problems cannot be determined at this time. We won't begin to know until DO-178C is used in practice many times.

(As an aside, I suspect that if you asked members of the committee/working group that produced DO-178C what percentage of changes between B and C addressed 'recognized problems', you would get answers ranging from 1% to 50%. I'd be happy to tell people my own answer in private, but not on this list.) --

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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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Thu Jul 09 2015 - 14:02:37 CEST

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