Phillip Gillaspy

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    • Your article has three bullets: (1) unambiguous (2) binding, (3)testable. I will assert that after my 18 years DOA-178 experience that it is impossible to express in words a requirment meeting criteria (1) and (3). I can and have taken textually worded requirements to several different engineers for their interpretaton. No two engineers will interpret any typically complex requirement the same. Textually worded requirements are the worst possible way to express complex time-dependent, logically intricate, mathematically involved requirements. We must learn to abandon textually expessed requiremets. They were borne in the legacy era of the 60's and 70's when there was no other choice (I was there). Instead, requirements should be expressed as logic diagrams (e.g. MathWorks/Simulink) or in terms of a formally provable logic language. We would have done this in the beginning if computers and software apps would have been available. The FAA, the auto, and the medical device certification authorities need to learn to develop a requirement mechanism which is free from interpretation and release the hapless engineer from the subjective interpretation of the certification oversight individual. You only need to ask one question, is DO-178C written at the same level of rigor that it purports to enforce?

    • The author made an excellent well thought out example. But unless there is some further discussion that had been left out (since this was an excerpt), the predictive aspect of applying the scientific method is not shown. This is truly the hard part of the probem. The root cause in this example is very restricted to this particular code example and I could see not a means to formulate a broader programming principle that would avoid it happening again in a different code application.

    • For us oldtimers, I can remember when long resumes were the standard. In those days, HR did not filter resumes, instead they were passed through directy to the hiring manager. Not until the 80s did the 1 page resume come into vogue when HR took over and started filtering.

    • Unfortunately, I would probably have to wait until 2030 before the FAA decides to evolve from their current 1970's software paradigm.

    • The fact that consultants are paid by the either defendant or plaintiff should make the jury very wary of their testimony, at least if it were me on the jury. But engineers (or any college graduate) are rarely chosen for jury duty.

    • Another language extension should be created to specify bit packing as in bit assigning lsb to msb or vica versa. Historically, all of these extensions were motivated by hardware architectural differences. Are new extensions needed for multicore?

    • Precisely, the open, close, read, write are meaningful methods for the derived classes of serial port and LCD. But if someone were to use the interface for an input only discrete interface, they would be misusing the interface.