Unbreakability

Robert Scoble writes about the “unbreakable” ad campaign for Oracle. He says that as long as human beings are involved, no software is unbreakable.

Take the Y2K “bug”, for example. Software that had been written in the 1960s was still being used in the 1990s. In many cases, the software designers had planned on the software becoming obsolete well before the year 2000, and they chose to consciously ignore the potential problem.

For 30 years, the storing the dates with two digits was not a “bug”. Suddenly, because the usage of the software was exceeding the design limitations, the issue became a “bug”.

I see this all the time with business software. What used to be OK becomes a bug simply because the business environment has changed. Computerworld magazine published an interesting starting point about a study last year of the cost of software bugs.

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