Re: The Airplane Example (was Re: StreamingXML)
At 7:03 AM -0800 12/31/04, Benjamin Franz wrote: >People treat software like it isn't real. Software machines are just >as real as hardware machines - and often control hardware machines. >If you are killed by a radiation therapy machine because of broken >software - you are just as dead as if the cause was broken hardware. Yes, but there is a qualitative difference between software failures and hardware failures (though the effects of either can be equally damaging). Software mostly fails due to outright bugs and failure to anticipate certain conditions it encounters. However, if it works in a certain condition, it always works. Hardware can fail for these reasons, but it also has an additional way to fail most software doesn't: it decays over time as parts wear. It is completely plausible for a piece of hardware to work 10,000 times in a row and then fail the 10,001st time, even though nothing has changed. This style of failure is very rare for software. Software needs to be upgraded and maintained to handle changes in the environment where the software runs, not because the software wears out. -- Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo@m... Effective XML (Addison-Wesley, 2003) http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/effectivexml http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0321150406/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA
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