[plt-scheme] Perplexed Programmers

From: Marco Morazan (morazanm at gmail.com)
Date: Wed Aug 29 18:01:07 EDT 2007

> Like you, however, I have challenged Tony Hoare in public to
> give me numbers of failures before he pushes his software
> verification agenda one more time with a silly invited talk.
> He was stunned hearing this challenge coming from me but
> not one of the 60 attendees at the Federated Logic had a
> good response and two voiced their support for my challenge
> publicly.

Although I understand the need for numbers, why challenge the need for
verification? Proofs often give rise to insights. They did for me in
more than just a few occassions.

> That's #1. And it is professionals like us who have failed to
> bring across to the general public and to managers that
> programming is not an 'idiot' job (though 'idiots' can write
> things like programs for their own amusement and that nobody
> else uses).

There may be a bit too much unfairness here. Is it possible that we
have delivered the message, but that some have chosen to ignore it?
There may be a bit of "just get anyone in here that claims to be able
to deal with this" attitude out there.

> #2 is that we have failures at an order of magnitude that
> -- due to software's flexible nature -- can be made to look
> like sufficiently partial successes that everyone accepts.

Does this not beg for verification? Passing failures as successes
seems to suggest the need for verification IMHO.



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