status of Programming by Contract (PEP 316)?

Russ uymqlp502 at
Sat Sep 1 07:40:20 CEST 2007

On Aug 31, 6:45 pm, Steve Holden

> We probably need to distinguish between "mission-critical", where a
> program has to work reliably for an organization to meet its goals, and
> "safety-critical" where people die or get hurt if the program misbehaves.

The term "mission critical" itself can have a wide range of

If a software failure would force a military pilot to abort his
mission and hobble back home with a partially disabled aircraft,
that's what I think of as "mission critical" software.

If Google needs reliable software on its servers to maintain its
revenue stream, that's another kind of "mission critical" software,
but the criticality is certainly less immediate in that case.

In the first case, the software glitch definitely causes mission
failure. In the Google case, the software problems *may* ultimately
cause mission failure, but probably only if nothing is done for quite
some time to rectify the situation. If that is the case, then the
software itself is not the critical factor unless it cannot be
corrected and made to function properly in a reasonable amount of time.

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