On software quality and engineering

Brad Hards bhards at bigpond.net.au
Sat Nov 2 17:52:46 EST 2002

Hash: SHA1

On Sat, 2 Nov 2002 05:23, Michael Bennett wrote:
> On Saturday 02 Nov 2002 5:12 pm, Steve Jenkin wrote:
> > Simon Fowler wrote: [[Sat, 2 Nov 2002 10:42:35 +1100]]
> >
> > > I think the difference with software is that it's not like a
> > > physical system - it doesn't wear out over time, it doesn't have an
> > > inevitable failure at some point in the future, even if it's perfect
> > > now. Software is either correct or it's not correct.
> >
> > Software _does_ wear out over time.  The term is 'bit rot'.
> > This is what Y2K was about.
> The software does not wear out. It was working exactly as programmed. It
> was either not designed/implemented correctly or was operating outside the
> design constraints (ie after 31 Dec 1999).
Concur, software cannot "wear out",  as long as you mean "the compiled 
binaries" as software.

Source code does "bit rot" as a function of changing interfaces (to the 
compiler tool chain, to other functions/libraries, and to the environment).

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