[LEAPSECS] Schedule for success

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Sat Dec 20 14:53:42 EST 2008

In message <4957DFE1-9C18-4941-AA87-79E5DD429E5B at noao.edu>, Rob Seaman writes:

>Again - why are engineering best practices regarded as an annoyance?


They are not, but they are far different from what you think
they are, and they are slavishly adhered to.

I know several astronomers, including the one who I think were the
first to use a computer observationally.

And they are a really cool crew, and fun to be with, but they
wouldn't last 10 minutes in the real IT world.

None of them, and obviously you in particular, have any idea what
"safety of life" means in an IT context.

Yeah, sure: you could knock a phd out cold with a radio-telescope,
but that is just an average industrial accident, that has nothing
to do with computers really.

Real "safety of life" systems often must be approved by several
authorities, and tested to predetermined and randomized scenarios,
and then, likely as not, you will end up not rolling them out,
likely for several months, because some other issue, anomaly or
just operational pattern prevents it.

Getting a new OS rolled out under an ATC system every six months ?

F'get it buddy, not even close, lets talk about it in 2012, OK ?

And you know what ?

That _is_ good engineering practice for systems like that: you do
not risk blacking out an entire ATC sector, just because some raving
astronomer cannot find stars with his telescope.

Dream on in your own little world, Rob, but please stop thinking
that the rest of the world is like your sandbox.


(Who has waited 3 months for the paperwork to move, so he can install
patch which changes the color of a touch panel button in an ATC

Poul-Henning Kamp | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

More information about the LEAPSECS mailing list