Subject: Re: dealing with errors (was: "Programming is FUN again")
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/03/27
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Brent A Ellingson
| It is provably impossible to verify all code.  This isn't myth -- this is
| fact.  Arrogant people like Erik keep believing the stuff they learned in
| intro math classes at University isn't real, but simply a bunch of myths.
| They will keep believing it is *possible* to verify all code, and will
| keep continue to write crappy programs they believe are "provably
| correct" and "can't" fail.

  man, what did verification _do_ to you?  and why do you have to make such
  an incredibly stupid insult just to make yourself feel better?  just
  because you _obviously_ cannot write correct code doesn't mean those who
  say they can, _and_ back up their position with a ten-year history of
  code that just _doesn't_ fail, are frauds and liars.  I wonder what hurt
  you so badly, I really do, but I sure am glad it wasn't me.  please make
  sure you catch the guys, though -- your hostility is eating you up.

  the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo is perhaps _the_
  pioneering site in verification.  I can assure you that this stuff is not
  "intro math classes", but you have nothing to learn from mistakes you
  don't already know how to handle, right?

| That is an example of catching an error you were definately better off
| ignoring.

  ok, so this _is_ the core credo of a religion with you, and I was in
  error for ridiculing your religious beliefs.  I'm really sorry.

| The fact that *this* software failure was preventable only obscures the
| fact that software failures, *in general*, are NOT preventable.

  yeah, while you're predicting the future and are obviously infallible in
  your own eyes, I'm arrogant.  I think I'll stick with arrogant.

| Trying to verify code is good.  Mistakenly believing it is possible to
| create "provably correct code" is like believing you can tell the future
| by a combination of voodoo and looking at the guts of a slaughtered goat.
| It can't be done.  Period.

  I feel deeply sorry for you, but I feel even sorrier for the poor people
  who might hire you or otherwise stumble into your code.

  religious cult update in light of new scientific discoveries:
  "when we cannot go to the comet, the comet must come to us."