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Case from journal
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Reference no. IJITE1-1LA3
Published by: Senate Hall Academic Publishing
Published in: "International Journal of Information Technology", 2004
Length: 8 pages

Abstract

Software failures are a bane of modern existence. Information systems deliver phenomenal functionality with appalling lack of reliability. (Unfavourable) comparisons are drawn with manufactured goods. This article suggests that is the wrong metaphor. For purposes of understanding reliability, software is better compared to design goods, like scripts, architectural plans, and consulting reports. Design and software development are both diverse, so it is not the case that every design activity is like every software project, but for any given software effort, a design activity that matches on key dimensions (extent of customisation, scale, backward compatibility constraints, etc) may be a useful foil. In general, reliability of complex engineered systems, like airplanes, may be a better referent for software quality than is manufacturing process control. This article has been peer reviewed by the editorial board of the International Journal of Information Technology - IJITE.

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Abstract

Software failures are a bane of modern existence. Information systems deliver phenomenal functionality with appalling lack of reliability. (Unfavourable) comparisons are drawn with manufactured goods. This article suggests that is the wrong metaphor. For purposes of understanding reliability, software is better compared to design goods, like scripts, architectural plans, and consulting reports. Design and software development are both diverse, so it is not the case that every design activity is like every software project, but for any given software effort, a design activity that matches on key dimensions (extent of customisation, scale, backward compatibility constraints, etc) may be a useful foil. In general, reliability of complex engineered systems, like airplanes, may be a better referent for software quality than is manufacturing process control. This article has been peer reviewed by the editorial board of the International Journal of Information Technology - IJITE.

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