Re: [SystemSafety] Modelling and coding guidelines: "Unambiguous Graphical Representation"

From: Steve Tockey < >
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2016 19:56:40 +0000

Derek,

"The code serves a useful purpose and you are upset because it is costing you more than it should."

No, not really. I'm upset because I'm forced to pay good money and deal with crappy software products that are all caused by the sheer, utter incompetence of the people who wrote it. The vast majority of the defects I have to wrestle with on a daily basis were caused by total ignorance on the part of someone who makes an average annual salary of about $95k USD. See my previous response to Les Chambers.

At what point are we, software consumers finally going to say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"???

"The issue of minimal possible code quality is something I am analyzing for a book I am working on. I have some analysis+ evidence that the bound is lower than where many people think it is."

Fascinating, because I argue that it's not at all difficult to write software that friggen' works: software that does what it's intended to do, without infinite loops and all of that BS. It's even faster and cheaper to do so. The research I've done into contemporary software organizations shows that on average, over 60% of their capacity to do work is wasted in going back to fix stupid mistakes that they made earlier. We seem incapable today of distinguishing "motion" from "progress" on software projects. They are very different things.

Anyone can ask me for my "How Healthy is Your Software Process" paper, I'll email a PDF as an attachment.

"There is a huge hole in the software engineering curriculum: Economics."

Totally agreed. Maybe someone should write a book on that topic? Oh, waitŠ

Cheers,

-----Original Message-----
From: systemsafety <systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx on behalf of Derek M Jones <derek_at_xxxxxx Organization: Knowledge Software, Ltd
Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 3:43 PM
To: "systemsafety_at_xxxxxx <systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] Modelling and coding guidelines: "Unambiguous Graphical Representation"

Steve,

> report, "it sucks". I know people who work for that company, they freely
> admit "our code sucks". No question, it's bad code.
...
> But here's the deal, I can't invest anything in that code. It's not my
> code to invest in. I'm just the poor hapless user who has to deal with

Would you really invest any time in the code?

With open source I often find it is easier to find a workaround than fix the code.

Some more thoughts on the issue:
http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2014/08/31/undefined-behavior-pa y-up-for-shut-up/

http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2015/12/07/so-you-found-a-bug-in -my-compiler-whoopee-do/

> their crap because that's what the publisher wants.

The code serves a useful purpose and you are upset because it is costing you more than it should. The question is not should they fix these problems, but does the increase to their profit make it worthwhile not fixing some of the problems they are going to fix?

The issue of minimal possible code quality is something I am analyzing for a book I am working on. I have some analysis+ evidence that the bound is lower than where many people think it is.

> Your position is fine from a supplier-side perspective, but what about
>the
> consumer-side? Shouldn't we have a say? At best, all I can do
>economically

Customers have their say through paying for things and influence the purchases of others.

I have seen appalling written code that has customers are very happy with the product, and well written code where customers hate the product. Yes, this is commercial code, but not safety critical.

We fetishize writing code that follows the latest fashion in how things should be done.

There is a huge hole in the software engineering curriculum: Economics.

-- 
Derek M. Jones           Software analysis
tel: +44 (0)1252 520667  blog:shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com
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Received on Wed Mar 02 2016 - 20:56:51 CET

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