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

Van Snyder Van.Snyder
Thu Jul 7 23:39:41 EDT 2016

On Thu, 2016-07-07 at 21:43 -0500, Dick Hendrickson wrote:
> ...
> 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.

Times haven't really changed that much, even though Dan Goldin is no
longer the NASA administrator.

> Dick Hendrickson 

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