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Re: ATI video comes out of the closet



On Sat, 08 Sep 2007 11:42:43 -0700
Les <hlhowell pacbell net> wrote:

> I can't dispute that this is how software has developed.  But that
> still doesn't make it right.  Would you drive over a bridge that had a
> 10% or higher chance of failure?  Or ride in an elevator with similar
> risks?  Of course not.  Standards were developed that governed how those
> things are designed based upon tragic failures.  Yet software
> engineering seems dead set on avoiding the issues surrounding the
> effective standardization that makes this possible.

There is a fundamental difference between computers and bridges and elevators.

That difference is its intended function.

A bridge is designed to carry loads up to a maximum weight across a fixed and
known horizontal distance.  An elevator, the same, across a vertical distance.

A computer is a general-purpose device.

Computers can be made to be extremely reliable if they are designed for a
single purpose, too.  And some of the extremely reliable computers are not even
expensive -- when is the last time you had to reboot the thermostat that
controls the air conditioner in your house?

A general purpose device, by its nature, is a much more complex problem to
solve.

Which doesn't mean that it will never be solved.  It just means that we're not
there yet.

The Romans were building bridges 2000 years ago and bridges still fail
occasionally.

-- 
MELVILLE THEATRE ~ Melville Sask ~ http://www.melvilletheatre.com


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