(j3.2006) (SC22WG5.5760) RE: RE: Units of measure

Dick Hendrickson dick.hendrickson
Thu Jul 7 22:43:25 EDT 2016


On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 9:02 PM, Van Snyder <Van.Snyder at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:

> ...
> > 3.  You implied that JPL has an absolute lock on reliability
> requirements.  If providing units checking is so trivial and so important,
> why hasn't JPL built or contracted to be built such a checker?
> The "lock on reliability requirements" depends on how mission-critical
> the software is.  On-board flight software, such as the 1/3 million
> lines of Ada in orbit around Saturn is the most critical.  The software
> I work on, data analysis after download, is much less critical because a
> mistake can always be corrected and the data reprocessed, without losing
> the entire mission.  It's not free, but it doesn't compromise an entire
> mission.
> The reason we haven't been able to get funding for these kinds of
> software tools is that the bean counters don't know which end of the
> software to plug into the wall and which end to use to melt solder.
> Whenever we ask for software tools beyond compilers thay ask "Huh? Why
> do you need that?"  They appear to think that labor is free, but
> software tools are too expensive to tolerate.

Times have changed, but back in the late 60s there never was enough
time/money to do it right, but there was always enough to fix it later.

Dick Hendrickson
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