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"S. Ron Oliver" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 Aug 2002 07:46:44 -0600
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At 12:18 PM 7/31/02 -0400, you wrote:
>Good points, but I've seen little "public outrage" over software
>quality. People bitch about Microsoft products (as one example -
>I'm not trashing Microsoft in particular) but for the most part,
>they do not take their business elsewhere. They shrug it off as
>somehow beng "in the nature of things".

Understood.  This type of consumer awareness I do NOT expect to change
soon, if at all.


>"The public" reacts when something *really* bad happens (Sept. 11,
>say), or when something *really* hits them in the pocketbook
>(Enron or WorldCom, say). I'm afraid that unless something of
>this nature happens that can be *clearly* attributed to lousy
>software, we'll see no "public outrage" on this issue.

This is the type of change I'm talking about.  And it will happen, though
perhaps not as quickly as we would like.

As Peter pointed out, the Europeans are ahead of us here.  But even people
in the U.S. will eventually become more concerned.


>When GM recalled millions of cars to replace the software in
>millions of airbags, it hardly made the papers. The airbags were
>popping off unexpectedly in non-accident situations. This can
>be *dangerous*, right? Where was the outrage?

Interesting example.  How much of the lack of consumer reaction here had to
do with "careful" publicity?  I'll wager a lot of it.  As long ago as 1979,
probably earlier, corporations and government agencies began the policy of
misrepresenting, if not outright lying about, problems due to software
errors.  And after that famous Scientific American article on the Software
Crisis (1993?) some groups (most notably Mike's favorite) actually started
hiring marketing specialists to fabricate "popular" lies about the troubles
with software.

. . .

>I'd feel better if each
>time this subject came up, I got a minor flood of new tips for
>my project summary. But that's just not happening. If the
>projects are out there, people can't or won't talk about it.

Why don't you ask Peter about the recent new projects he's aware of in Europe.

In fact (This is for Peter) maybe it would be a good idea if you (Peter)
could just briefly describe those new projects you know of.  That would
give the rest of us useful information to rebut some of the classical myths
we deal with.

sro
S. Ron Oliver, the U.S. representative for Top Graph'X, developers of high
quality software components, using Ada, including OrbRiver the
multi-language ORB.  A single distributed programming environment for all
developers.  Supports Ada95, Java, and C++.

For more information, check out www.topgraphx.com.

Semi-retired professor of Computer Science and Computer
Engineering.  www.csc.calpoly.edu/~sroliver

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