Channels ▼

zz_unused_Marianne Kolbasuk zz_unused_McGee

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

If it's good enough for NASA, it's good enough for ...

November 19, 2010

We've been on the software engineering bandwagon for a little while. Although we are still traveling down the road of AI-complete problems, we realize the complexity of the potential software solutions that we are mesmerized by will require absolute focus on correctness, reliability, robustness, and maintainability.That's why we've alluded to formal specifications and formal languages. The one we are dealing with at the moment, and the one we find most useful is LOTOS (Language of Temporal Ordering Specification). LOTOS has an ISO standard. LOTOS is a Formal Description Technique (FDT) standardized by ISO for the design of distributed systems. If you haven't acquainted yourself with the use of Formal Languages, Specifications and Methods and you are charged with the task of developing or retrofitting software systems to include parallelism/concurrency, we strongly suggest that you add them to your tool box. Introductory material on LOTOS can be found at:

Introduction to LOTOS

And software can be found at:

LOTOS Software

This stuff is best applied in the specification's phase of your project whether it is a new project or an retrofit.

Graphic goes here

Notice that in the case of retrofit, we apply a formal treatment to how the current system works as well as a formal specification of how the proposed system must work, given the services that are already provided. Once users depend on a service it's hard to take it away. So in those retrofits, the existing services and their implementations have to analyzed as well. The specification generated for the proposed requirements should be copiously compared to the specification for the existing system. Now we will get to the NASA stuff a bit later. Right now Cameron just walked in with "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood" (Collector's Edition of course!) which means we have a few appointments in Rome. Later!

Related Reading


More Insights






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.
 


Video