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Re: Industry versus academia

On Sunday 23 February 2003 02:55, Sundar Narasimhan wrote:
> >   You gave the example of creating provably correct software for
> > air traffic control. I'm wondering, how large a part of the
> > endeavour is taken by coding? Where are errors most likely? In the
> > implementation? Or rather in the specification? If it's the latter,
> > no programming language is going to help.
> BTW.. as someone who works with the aviation industry, I find
> these postings about proving correctness there mildly amusing. This
> is sort of orthogonal to the discussion, but the problems wrt. such
> software are not w/ their construction so much as their ongoing
> maintenance in the field.
> There are several essays like the foll. that can be googled.
> http://www.geocities.com/bigmike_75/essays/w/23.html
> The problem is still open. I think the FAA ATC project often makes
> number one or number two in largest software failures of all time :)
> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/013673443X/104-8616223-
> Do you really believe that a provably correct programming language
> could have helped in these cases?

No -- that was the point I was trying to make. Even without any 
particular knowledge of ATC, but from ordinary experience in software 
projects and from regularly reading the RISKS digest.


Michael Schuerig                       Face reality and stare it down.
mailto:schuerig@acm.org          --Jethro Tull, "Silver River Turning"