Four principles of software engineering October 9, 2020 on Drew DeVault's blog

Software should be robust. It should be designed to accommodate all known edge cases. In practice, this means predicting and handling all known error cases, enumerating and addressing all classes of user inputs, reasoning about and planning for the performance characteristics of your program, and so on.

Software should be reliable. It should be expected to work for an extended length of time under design conditions without failures. Ideally, it should work outside of design conditions up to some threshold.

Software should also be stable. It should not change in incompatible or unexpected ways; if it works today it should also work tomorrow. If it has to change, a plan shall be written. Stakeholders (including users!) should be given advance notice and should be involved in the planning stage.

Finally, software should be simple. Only as many moving parts should be included as necessary to meet the other three goals. All software has bugs, but complicated software (1) has more bugs and (2) is more difficult to diagnose and fix. Note that designing a simple solution is usually more difficult than designing a complex solution.

This (short) article is based on a Mastodon post I wrote a few weeks ago.

⇒ This article is also available on gemini.

Have a comment on one of my posts? Start a discussion in my public inbox by sending an email to ~sircmpwn/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht [mailing list etiquette]

Articles from blogs I read Generated by openring

Site Redesign

Hey y’all! It’s been, gosh, what, ten years? I finally finished a total site redesign: all-new backend, HTML, CSS, modern image formats, etc. It’s finally readable on mobile now! There’s a lot of accumulated cruft in the database and filesystem–aphyr.com i…

via Aphyr: Posts March 28, 2021

What's cooking on SourceHut? March 2021

Hi! Another month of development has passed, and I’m here to fill you in on what’s new. Another 686 signups this month has brought us to 21,041 users. As always, I’ll be counting on you to make the new users feel at home, please be patient with them and help…

via Blogs on Sourcehut March 15, 2021

Status update, March 2021

Hi all! This month has been a little bit more quiet than others. I’ve spent a fair bit of time working on gamescope for Valve. As usual I’ve been fixing bugs and improving gamescope itself, but I’ve also worked on the rest of the ecosystem. I’m plumbing forma…

via emersion March 15, 2021