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Category: High-Integrity Software

The so-called experts will tell you it can’t be done; it is not possible to create bug-free software, at least at low-cost for a non-trivial application. Now it seems, we have our first documented case of ostensibly zero-defect software. continue reading…

Until Agile, software processes in general focused on larger projects. When applied to smaller projects they can become cumbersome and inefficient. Agile has demonstrated its value on relatively small projects, but it does not scale up well, and in my opinion some of its core tenets are incompatible with safety-critical development. continue reading…

As I’ve said before, MC/DC analysis is the bane of Level-A development under DO-178B. It is not well understood, either by developers or by verification engineers. Automated analysis tools will perform the analysis, but that may not occur until verification has begun. Fixes at this stage are far less desirable than avoiding issues in the first place. So how do we ensure that MC/DC issues do not occur in the first place? continue reading…

Like many veteran software developers, I am sold on the value of defensive programming. It seems that no matter how thorough the requirements, nor how good the design, things can go wrong; and I’d like my code to be able to handle it. So imagine my surprise when no less than a DER provided me with a perfectly valid and well-reasoned argument to discard defensive programming techniques altogether. continue reading…

In 1968, Edsger Dijkstra published the paper that put him on the map permanently in the minds of most of the software development community. continue reading…

I wanted to express my thanks to Todd, over at FAAConsultants.com. He placed this site on his resource page, and we’re beginning to see some referred traffic as a result.

While I have not worked directly with FAAConsultants, I have had several conversations with Todd, including a demonstration of their software product; and I believe that many firms who produce hardware or software that must comply with FAA regulations would benefit by its use. continue reading…

Most organizations today, and I would venture that all organizations involved in the production of high-integrity code use one or more development standards, in an attempt to improve the quality of the software produced. Among the common types of standards for development are Architecture Standards, Design Standards, and Coding Standards. Verification standards also exist, for the same reason. In this article, I will focus on coding standards, as that is where I have seen the bulk of issues. continue reading…

Prior to my experience in an avionics environment, I had never heard of MC/DC, now I awake in the night shaking. continue reading…

Okay, the news was broken months ago… and I’m still in awe.  The Sony Playstation 3 will be released with a more powerful CPU than is currently available in any computer in a PC format.  Currently, the only computer I know of that will eventually make use of this chip is IBM’s Blade line of servers. No home computing resource even comes close. continue reading…

I’ve read several articles and blog entries where experts argued over the semantics of “software construction” versus “software development”.  Personally, I see little value in the debate.  But I won’t let that stop me from contributing my 2 cents. continue reading…