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Old 7th Jul 2010, 23:35
  #1705 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Toronto
Age: 75
Posts: 117
Aviation Software

I believe it is essential to realize that any software written in a language at a level higher than machine code native to a specific processor is subject to the vagaries of the compiler that translates that higher level language into machine code. I do not know what hardware processors are used by Airbus or Boeing but I'm sure that the coding for them is written in a higher level language than native machine code and that the writers of those higher level language programmes are unaware of the inherent hardware idiosyncrasies of the target processor or those of the compiler to which they are feeding their programming efforts. Software debugging may catch programming errors when tested to respond to certain conditions or limits but the response of software written in generic higher level languages and sometimes in machine code will be unknown when presented with anomalous inputs. In my 45 years of experience of hardware design and software programming (it was mostly machine code back then), I have learned that the truism that computers are idiots and that programmers who do not understand their target processors can be led to be idiots too has never been disproved. I'm not an aeronautical engineer but I'd be more trusting of the current generation of aircraft if there were a bit more cable and hydraulics in modern aeroplanes that could be utilized by an experienced human in the cockpit when the computer bugs manifest themselves (sorry, I know Ryanair will disagree). The software that runs this forum doesn't seen to recognize carriage returns or line feeds.
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