Software Standards Development - Wherever - However - The Bugs are Free
Michael D. Hogan
The perceived tradeoff between the speed of development and the technical soundness of the resulting standards may not be relevant to the development of complex software standards. The market shelf life of a software standard tends to be more dependent upon the rapid innovation of Information Technology (IT) than the speed of development. In many cases, software standards are burdened with defects, no matter how much time and effort is spent in their development. Software standards are difficult to specify because they are written in imprecise English narrative. The ambiguities in the specifications and the very large number of possible permutations make it difficult to test software for conformance to standards, and test tools are usually not provided by the standards developers. Successful standards, such as the C++ programming language standard, can result when there is cooperation among the developers of the software standards, the test tools and the code. But we may be limited in the future deployment of information technology systems by the defects and complexity of the associated software. Ultimately, we will need a research agenda and new breakthroughs in the supporting base of science and engineering for specifying and testing complex software standards to sustain future IT innovations.
C++, calendar date, information technology, software, software defects, software standards, standards development, test tools, testing