Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Aug 2012 22:16 UTC
General Development "I cannot help but speculate on how the software on the Curiosity rover has been constructed. We know that most of the code is written in C and that it comprises 2.5 Megalines of code, roughly. One may wonder why it is possible to write such a complex system and have it work. This is the Erlang programmers view."
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codng at NASA
by l3v1 on Mon 13th Aug 2012 06:18 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

"They Write the Right Stuff" http://www.fastcompany.com/28121/they-write-right-stuff

It's a bit old, but still a good read, giving some insight.

On "Some of the traits of the Curiosity Rovers software closely resembles the architecture of Erlang. Are these traits basic for writing robust software?" - Well, I'd say it doesn't resemble Erlang, but it does resemble good thinking and good engineering, which might have been the case with Erlang designers too (which I don't know).

On the other hand: Megalines? Really? That's not geeky, that's stupid. What comes next, hectolines?

Reply Score: 7

RE: codng at NASA
by kwan_e on Mon 13th Aug 2012 08:17 in reply to "codng at NASA"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

On the other hand: Megalines? Really? That's not geeky, that's stupid. What comes next, hectolines?


Should be mebisloc.

Megalines is ambiguous as to whether it's a large number of lines, or just a number of huge lines.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: codng at NASA
by Treza on Mon 13th Aug 2012 13:02 in reply to "codng at NASA"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

This is indeed a good article.
There is the old divide between "hackers" and "engineers".

Critical software is done by engineers : There is no very clever hack, software must be readable and modified for more 20 years, and everything is aboundantly documented and based on requirements which are later verified. The software must do exactly what it is expected to do, nothing more.

Of course, it is extremely expensive and it is certainly pointless to use this development method to all software, and it certainly stifles creativity.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: codng at NASA
by krreagan on Mon 13th Aug 2012 20:22 in reply to "RE: codng at NASA"
krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

The "creativity" happens in the engineering part where it belongs, not in the coding part which introduces too many bugs.

Reply Parent Score: 2