Whether it's true or not, it's a great lesson on how inheritance can come
back to haunt you. Or why you should submit all software to DNA analysis,
before having children. ;-) Thanks Daniel! :-)
The jury is currently deadlocked: Geoff Bull [[log in to unmask]] saying
it's fantasy and Alan E and Carmel J Brain [[log in to unmask]] saying
it's a true C [or should it be C++] story. The rules for further jury
deliberation are that only individuals with first hand knowledge can vote.
The rest of us can only observe your deliberations.
charter member Team-Ada
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Daniel McDonough [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 2:32 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Objects fight back!
> I haven't checked out the reference at the end of this, but even if it
> isn't true, it is a good story for teaching.
> I wonder if the simulation was coded in Ada? <-- Ada content
> Daniel McDonough Team Ada
> [log in to unmask]
> Careless code recycling causes killer kangas --
> Mutant Marsupials Take Up Arms Against Australian Air Force
> The reuse of some object-oriented code had caused tactical headaches for
> Australia's armed forces.
> As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat
> training, programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism
> of their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and -- in the case of
> the Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix -- herds of kangaroos (since
> disturbed animals might well give away a helicopter's position).
> The head of the Defense Science & Technology Organization's
> LandOperations/Simulation division reportedly instructed developers to
> model the local marsupials' movements and reactions to helicopters.
> Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code
> originally used to model infantry detachment reactions under the same
> stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and
> increased the figures' speed of movement. Eager to demonstrate their
> flying skills for some visiting American pilots, the hotshot Aussies
> "buzzed" the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation.
> The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, and the visiting Americans nodded
> appreciatively....then did a double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from
> behind a hill and launched a barrage of Stinger missiles at the helpless
> helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten to remove THAT part
> of the infantry coding.)
> The lesson? Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new
> object defined in terms of an old one inherits all the attributes. The
> embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing
> object-oriented code, and the Yanks left with a newfound respect for
> Australian wildlife.
> Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onward have
> strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.
> From June 15, 1999 _Defense Science and Technology Organization Lecture
> series_, Melbourne, Australia, and staff reports.
> Item taken from _Software Testing and Quality Engineering_ magazine,
> Volume 1, Issue 6
> (November/December 1999)