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Re: Mathematica and Lisp

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  • Subject: [mg129708] Re: Mathematica and Lisp
  • From: Joseph Gwinn <joegwinn at>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 01:52:02 -0500 (EST)
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  • References: <keqehj$erk$>

In article <keqehj$erk$1 at>,
 Bill Rowe <readnews at> wrote:

> On 2/3/13 at 8:22 PM, lvsaba at (Matthias Bode) wrote:
> >The fact that WRI does not even "recommend the use of the Product"
> >in instances where it could "threaten" ... "injury, or significant
> >loss" does indeed constitute a most serious limitation to "the
> >Product's" usefulness.
> Why do you reach the conclusion of "serious limitation"? All
> that is really happening here is Wolfram is essentially
> transferring legal responsibility for problems to the user. Not
> any different than is typical of software developers.
> I don't think you can find any software with comparable
> complexity/power to Mathematica that is bug free despite best
> effort/intention of the software developer/programmer. Given
> that, why would any software developer want to be held legally
> responsible for damage etc caused by a bug he failed to find.
> Expecting Wolfram to willingly accept legal responsibility for
> damages due to bugs in Mathematica is simply unrealistic. And it
> is equally unrealistic to expect a developer of any similar
> software to take willingly legal responsibility for damage
> caused by bugs.

Exactly.  For a view of what it takes to make software almost bug-free, 
look at the DO178 certification process, which is used for software that 
controls airplanes - it the software fails, you lose the plane.

As one would expect, DO178 is *very* heavy, causing at least a factor of 
ten cost increase.  Or one hundred.  If anything as complex as Mathematica
could be certified at all - the scaling is far from linear.

Joe Gwinn

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