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Wed, 22 Apr 1998 12:51:02 -0700
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In <[log in to unmask]>, on 04/22/98 at 02:25 PM,
   Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]> said:

>My point is that the market is not demanding reliable software or
>maintenance of an existing software base.

>The "mainstream" software consumer accepts crashes and problems as "how things
>are," or even points with secret pride at how often his system crashes -- proof
>that he's on the "cutting edge."  So the
>people who build systems for those consumers won't spend time or
>money to improve the reliability or maintainability of their products.

Certainly this is not true of that subset of consumers who are in the software
business.  I teach evening classes at the local Institute of Technology, with a
wide range of students from around the industry (probably 50% Information
Processing, the rest in communications or process control), none of whom use
Ada.

I suggested in the technical issues class that no one would turn out poor quality
software if they knew how to turn out better quality software with the same
schedule and budget.  To my suprise, the class went on and on about a vendor
who they felt was maliciously putting out poor quality software that crashed
frequently, and was filled with useless features.  They felt helpless that they
were forced to use this due to a lack of "viable" alternatives.

>If they spend time and money on things that the consumer won't pay for, they'll
>go out of business.

I think it is nonsense to think consumers won't insist on quality once they
realize there is an option.  Look at the history of the US auto industry (as has
been mentioned earlier).

From where I sit, decisions are not made because people like a product, but because
they think that is what everyone else is buying, and if they do not use the
product, then they will be left out in some sense.  They feel more the victim of market
forces than consumers with a choice.

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Bruce Link                         |Team OS/2
[log in to unmask]                         |Team Ada
PGP fingerprint: 45 AB AD 29 89 B1 01 20  64 66 BF DB 7A B7 AD DF
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