ethics - Software Quality and Ethics COMP2920 Revision 1.2...

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Unformatted text preview: Software Quality and Ethics COMP2920 Revision: 1.2, October 10, 2004 c Ken Robinson mailto::[email protected] 1. Objectives of this Lecture This lecture will attempt to: • probe your understanding of the program you are studying and what it means; • heighten awareness of the difficulty and responsibility of producing safe, reliable software; • heighten your awareness of IP. 2. Why are you doing Computer Science? ? Let’s hear from you. 3. What is Computer Science? ? • What does that Science word mean? • Is it different from the use of the same word in Domestic Science ? • Have you seen any evidence of science in your program? 1 4. Be Reflective about Software Development As a software developer, what are you? • An artisan? • An architect? • An engineer? What’s the difference? Let’s hear some answers One problem with software development is that many developers don’t see them- selves as engineers , that is someone who takes responsibility for the systems they develop. And I guess you don’t? 5. Fitness for Purpose One problem we have is that software is most usually not declared to be fit for some particular purpose . When did you last see a piece of software that was guaranteed to do some particular job? More usually it’s not guaranteed to do anything in particular. It’s more likely to be: If you think this software is useful and you’re prepared to pay your money, “Good luck to you!” . 5.1. Windows 95 Limited Warranty “You acknowledge that no promise, representation or warranty or undertaking has been made or given by Microsoft or any person or company on its behalf in relation to the profitability of or any other consequences or benefits to be obtained from the delivery or use of the SOFTWARE . . . . You have relied upon your own skill and judgement in deciding to acquire the SOFTWARE . . . ” How about that? It’s your fault! 2 6. Public Brain Washing Does your TV set have a reset button on the front? Your computer does! It’s there because the software fails, not the hardware! Furthermore, the general population has been educated to expect software to fail. This is an extraordinary achievement. But should we be proud of it? We will return to some other aspects of this later. 7. Product or Service? One legal problem with software is the distinction between product and service . Products have to be fit for purpose Services do not have to be fit for purpose. Many licences attempt to push the service notion: you don’t own the software, you simply have a licence that allows you to use it. It always belongs to the licensor....
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ethics - Software Quality and Ethics COMP2920 Revision 1.2...

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