[Bioperl-l] Quote

Stephen Gordon Lenk slenk at emich.edu
Sat Jan 13 16:24:19 EST 2007


Hi,

I'm a bit puzzled about what "actually pretty good" means. My 
understanding about Mars Rover is:

"The current Mars rovers may rely on proven computer technology, but 
for Spirit the journey has not been glitch-free. 

After a promising start to its mission, the Spirit rover -- the first 
of the MER twins to land on Mars -- stopped sending proper data to JPL 
scientists 18 days into the mission and later baffled ground 
controllers by rebooting itself over and over again. Since then, 
mission controllers were able to regain reliable communications with 
the rover and continue to study what may have caused the malfunction." 
[http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/mer_computer_040128
.html]

Most industries know that "rebooting itself over and over again" is 
not desirable. Evidently Mars is out of sight - out of mind. Software 
developers have excessive pride in deliverables that are all too often 
grossly dysfunctional. If a product released to the market failed 
by "rebooting itself over and over again," there would be no end of 
deserved criticism. Why is software immune from reasonable scrutiny? 
Who believes their community is immune from the release of defects? 
Maybe we should all ask ourselves how long it took for defects to be 
found after the release of our last piece of wonderware, whatever it 
was. 

As far a Google or genome software - how do you know you haven't 
missed something in ALL the web pages of the world or in a huge 
database being searched heuristicly. Are you saying defect free - 
never misses anything - perfect? Or just darn good - if so, how good, 
and how is that determined? Is that aspect of quality openly measured, 
quantified, and available or is it just brushed under the rug.

I do not claim to be flawless. This is *-->>NOT<--* a screed against 
Osborne/Stroustrop or anyone else who takes pride in a job well done. 
I am simply not convinced that the software community is as defect 
free as they claim. Sorry to be 'aggressive' (if this be such) but I 
am completely sick of defective software propelled crap.

Steve 


----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Osborne <bosborne11 at verizon.net>
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2007 1:06 pm
Subject: [Bioperl-l] Quote

> Technology Review January/February 2007 ³Bjarne Stroustrup The 
> Problem with
> Programming²
> 
> TR: Why is most software so bad?
> 
> Bjarne Stroustrup: Some software is actually pretty good, by any 
> standard.Think of the Mars Rover, Google, and the Human Genome 
> Project. Now, that¹s
> quality software!
> 
> _______________________________________________
> Bioperl-l mailing list
> Bioperl-l at lists.open-bio.org
> http://lists.open-bio.org/mailman/listinfo/bioperl-l
> 



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