Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)

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A certain Pieter Hoeben, of comp.arch.embedded "fame", writes :

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You'd be the generation whose mess had to be cleaned up with Y2K, and
the still unquantified UNIX/C ctime() limitation. Respectfully, you're
not in a position to make these generalizations :)

--

"Jokes mentioning ducks were considered particularly funny." - cnn.com


Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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A certain Steve at fivetrees, of comp.arch.embedded "fame", writes :

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I've thought about this quite a lot, and I think such poor standards
adherence and quality control is to do with the simple fact that you can
get away with it. Someone else has to worry about the costs later.

As someone else has said (in a different way) cutting the odd corner
here and there puts you ahead of your competitor. If your competitor is
already doing it, you'll have to cut corners to compete, or face a
different range of risks.

--

"Jokes mentioning ducks were considered particularly funny." - cnn.com


Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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Yes, this is the usual justification. My experience, however, is that
cutting corners doesn't actually save time. It's a flakey premise. I'm
challenging this idea out of pragmatism [1] and practicality, not idealism.

[1] My fingers initially typo'ed this as "programatism". Seemed appropriate
;).

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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I disagree... This is the usual _management_ justification. The usual
_engineering_ justification is that management forces engineers to
develop products using arbitrary techniques du jour, or with
unrealistic timelines, or some other silliness. And there are no
rewards for a job well done, only for a job done on time.

This is merely another demonstration that behavior that is unrewarded
will not be repeated.

Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
snipped-for-privacy@larwe.com (Lewin A.R.W. Edwards) wrote in

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I agree, in my experience even with concrete evidence that time invested
up front reduces overall project times and overall costs, non-software
managers will still ask "Well ok, but how much time can we save if we
don't have the detailed design phase?".

This happened to me immediately after I lead the software development for
a project that for the first time in the company's history had the
software finished before the target delivery date, and which had just one
non-critical bug - introduced when the hardware engineers required a
change days before going to mask.

Investment in planning to get it right first time does pay off, but its
an extremely hard concept to sell, both to technology directors and to
software engineers champing at the bit to start coding.

Peter.

Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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Amen to that.

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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A certain Steve at fivetrees, of comp.arch.embedded "fame", writes :

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We all know already that corner-cutting doesn't save time in the long
run. But yet, we are told to do it anyway. *shrug*

--

"Jokes mentioning ducks were considered particularly funny." - cnn.com


Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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I disagree. Let me be blunt: it's s/w engineers I'm getting at, not
managers. It's the engineers who need convincing, if only so that they can
convince their managers - the same way mechanical and electronics hardware
engineers have done for decades.

No, it's down to us. You can't blame bugs on managers.

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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A certain Steve at fivetrees, of comp.arch.embedded "fame", writes :

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Is it generally your experience that this is possible ? I'd love to live
in a world where getting things done the right, but slower way was
simply a matter of convincing the manager to go down that route.

--

"Jokes mentioning ducks were considered particularly funny." - cnn.com


Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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Aha! Caught you. The myth of "the right, but slower way" is *exactly* what
I'm challenging. Doing things right takes less time. And yes, this has been
my experience. Build the foundations right, and the house won't fall down
when you get to the third storey ;).

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)

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I wrote a web page that discusses this very subject:
http://www.guymacon.com/ENGINEER/HISTORY/INDEX.HTM



--
Guy Macon, Electronics Engineer & Project Manager for hire.
Remember Doc Brown from the _Back to the Future_ movies? Do you
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Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
"Guy Macon" <http://www.guymacon.com wrote in message
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been

from which I quote:
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Very nice; noted (in fact, noted some while back).

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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A certain Steve at fivetrees, of comp.arch.embedded "fame", writes :
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It depends how much of the project is in your line of sight.

Code reviews and proper documentation, not to speak of consistent
variable & parameter naming and other good design stuff all take more
time to do. It's the "we'll worry about the problems when they surface"
attitude that leads to the delay that you describe.

--

"Jokes mentioning ducks were considered particularly funny." - cnn.com


Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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My point exactly.

I would only add that we as a culture should demand and expect this to be
the norm, as in other disciplines.

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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A certain Steve at fivetrees, of comp.arch.embedded "fame", writes :

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I'm on your side here folks. Unfortunately a lot of people, particularly
at a senior level, aren't aware of the above, and when the project is
being squeezed by time pressures these things can suffer.

What I was responding to was the notion that implementing these design
measures was a simple matter of convincing people that it was the right
way to proceed.

--

"Jokes mentioning ducks were considered particularly funny." - cnn.com


Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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It is amazing how many projects small and large get forced to timescales
as "managers" expect a time scale without even the faintest outline spec
or outline design, from before the project starts.

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Then politics come into play.... :-^

--
Paul Carpenter        | snipped-for-privacy@pcserv.demon.co.uk
<http://www.pcserv.demon.co.uk/ Main Site
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Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
paul$@pcserv.demon.co.uk (Paul Carpenter) wrote in message
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It amazed me how often managers would slash complete phases from
a project like, design review, prototype review, or testing in an
effort to save time and money.  And I was also amazed by how often
managers saw hiring an inexperienced programmer at a lower rate as
a way to save money on a project.  Often these sorts of project
management decisions come down from the manager above the manager
who knows that there are better ways.

Best Wishes

Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)

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You're preaching to the choir. I doubt there is anyone in this NG who
has had the exquisite luxury of trying things "both ways" who would
disagree with you. On average, it will take less time to reach a given
quality point if you plan and execute the plan properly.

But it is an EXTREMELY difficult problem to convince people of this,
because it's counter-intuitive. Also, during the planning phase there
is apparently little concrete progress, which makes upper echelons
antsy. Funny how these people can justify their entire existence
through a stream of PowerPoint bullshit read by nobody, but once
engineers start measuring their productivity in hours of discussion
and pages of (text) plans, things are different...

Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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I totally agree. I've seen it happen.

Many years ago, two guys started two similar projects at the same time. One
guy had a rough prototype up and running in no time. The other guy,
meanwhile, sat down at his desk and stayed there for a number of months
making no such spectacular initial progress.

The first guy's prototype grew more and more code over the months, and he
was still debugging and trying to tame his monster when he ran out of time.
It worked, but a few unpleasant surprises crept out of the woodwork over the
next few months and years.

Meanwhile, the second guy had built a model effectively on paper, which he
then refined into an increasingly detailed formal functional definition. He
then spent a few weeks coding and verifying the definition, until one day he
switched it on and it all just worked. No surprises. It was almost boring.

Guess which project came in on time, had no bugs, and had the better market
acceptance.

Guess which guy was me ;).

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: Towards better embedded software (long)(was: Re: Where does C++ fit in?)
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But beware of the person at the extreme margins of "careful
and thorough".  I once had a co-worker who studied problems
very completely and never produced a single line of code.

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