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Re: Re: Re: Software Design Resources

by graff (Chancellor)
on Aug 22, 2003 at 04:49 UTC ( #285667=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: Software Design Resources
in thread Software Design Resources

Pseudo-code, class diagrams, etc can be equally applied to Perl, Java, Python, Ruby, C++, and almost any language in popular use today.

... The task is not to complete the entire product perfectly, but to complete your software's functionality perfectly.

Good points -- but it actually looks to me like the thrust here should be how to write specifications that are appropriate, adequate, bullet-proof and idiot-proof, and also make sure that these specs are readily translatable into the chosen programming language, complete with all necessary testing protocols -- i.e. given that the spec says "input comes from X, consisting of N bytes, etc" the test has to say "here's what is supposed to happen when input comes from anything other than X, and/or does not consist of N bytes, and/or etc."

Most of the perl core documentation (and much of the extra module documentation) that I've seen has a lot of the properties that one would want for proper/robust software specifications -- the reader is told what inputs are needed or allowable for a given function/method, what it returns when used properly, and what happens when not used properly. And this is typically done using clear, simple language, not overburdened with nonce acronyms, jargon or "technical legalese", and yet not at all vague, either. I would hope that critical-impact projects would model the development of specs on such examples.

Admittedly, the theory (or practice) of robust software design in critical-impact apps is not an area where I should try to assert any sort of personal expertise. I'll shut up now.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Software Design Resources
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 22, 2003 at 05:19 UTC
    Admittedly, the theory (or practice) of robust software design in critical-impact apps is not an area where I should try to assert any sort of personal expertise. I'll shut up now.

    You're doing at least as good as the "experts." Besides, as my good friend Francis always said truth comes sooner out of error than confusion :).

    You raise a good point about the specifications as well. Perhaps a problem well stated is indeed a problem half solved here. It appears to me that a proper tool for such a job would have to effectively generate tests to cover each set of possible errors introduced by the source code. It would not be possible to create all the tests by hand, that would only transfer the problem from the instructions to the tests.

    Anyone have any thoughts/information on self-verifying languages? Is there a different term for them I'm missing? ("self-verifying programming language" turns up nothing in google).

      Perhaps you're looking for "proof carrying code"? It's pretty neat stuff, although my only experience in it is drooling my way through a semester of verification and a colloq Some Guy gave at our campus.

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