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Software Quality: "Sad remark" quote from Dijkstra

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 09 Jul 2002 17:53:07 -0500
To: www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <1026255188.7561.263.camel@dirk>

I saw this in Djikstra's book years ago. I dug
it up and mailed it to a few folks 19 Jan 1996 18:22:31 -0500.
I just went to look for it today, and I'm surprised
it's not in the google-reachable Web.

It seems related to W3C's work, if somewhat remotely...
maybe QA or some such... so it seems to deserve
space in the www-archive:

        _Sad remark_: Since then we have witnessed the proliferation
of baroque, ill-defined and, therefore, unstable software
systems. Instead of working with a formal tool, which their task
requires, many programmers now live in a limbo of folklore, in a vague
and slippery world, in which they are never quite sure what the system
will do to their programs. Under such regretful circumstances the
whole notion of a correct program -- let alone a program that has been
proved to be correct -- becomes void. What the proliferation of such
systems has done to the morale of the computing community is more than
I can describe. (_End of sad remark._)

        Edsger W. Dijkstra
        p. 202 "A Discipline of Programming"
        Prentice Hall 1976

btw... a few other random bits about Dijkstra



Go To Statement Considered Harmful

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 9 July 2002 18:52:18 UTC

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