[Development] Fornux C++ Superset

Edward Welbourne edward.welbourne at qt.io
Tue Apr 24 10:01:52 CEST 2018

On Monday, 23 April 2018 18:46:05 PDT Phil Bouchard wrote:
>>> Remember when Wordperfect kept crashing in Windows 3.1 for some strange
>>> reason back in the days? People ended up using MS Word. The same with
>>> Netscape...

On 04/23/2018 10:34 PM, Thiago Macieira wrote:
>> There are a lot of reasons why people chose MS Word, not just crashes on
>> Wordperfect. Not to mention that Word crashes too.

Phil Bouchard (24 April 2018 07:35)
> Well crashes don't help either.

None the less, "1 crash makes your application worthless" grossly
exaggerates the severity of a crash.  A crash that happens reliably on
start-up makes an application useless, to be sure, but I have often
learned to not do that one thing that triggers a crash in a piece of
software that I routinely find very useful (despite the fact that I have
to take care to not do that one thing).  Meanwhile, many defects that
aren't crashes limit the value of software by significantly more - these
needn't even be bugs; simply not doing a thing that I find too useful to
do without, even if it's omitted for a Good Reason, is enough to make a
piece of software useless - at least in the presence of a competitor
which does the thing it doesn't.  Speaking of which:

> - There are minor rules you need to follow to make the code compile
> correctly, like nested structures aren't supported, etc. but you'll get
> the errors at compile-time thus when it runs then it cannot crash.

That is not a minor rule.
That is a show-stoppper.
We're not about to give up nested structures !

I think you'll find there are *many* programmers who would sooner have a
few sporadic crashes than limit themselves to the programs they can
write without nested structures (either in their own code or in any
libraries their code is a client of).  So the lack of that feature is a
prime example of a defect in software that's worse than a crash - your
users would sooner inflict sporadic crashes on their users than live
without this feature.  Furthermore, the vast majority of users would
sooner have a program that sporadically crashes, as long as it's
tolerably rare, than have one with fewer features because it was written
by a programmer who was missing a language feature that would have made
it easier to do more with less.

The reason why the software industry is a bit slap-dash about bugs is
that the market encourages shipping something that works adequately to
do something more useful, for the user, than the competition offers:
those who ship something useful (but a bit buggy) get large market share
before those who ship (less useful but) bug-free software even get their
products to market - which, in fact, they seldom do.  I know one or two
programmers who, when they promise to deliver bug-free software, can
actually be trusted to do so (they'll also be charging highly for that;
and promising to, in the event of any bug, give back all the money and
fix the bug); but most programmers are *not capable* of that, for any
non-trivial program, and I doubt any software team of any size can be
confident of delivering entirely bug-free software.  As it happens,
delivering engaging, useful software - that delivers value to its users
- tends to take a fairly large team (or take so long that the market has
been captured by someone else, who had a large team, before you ship).


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