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Not really sure about this treatment; as I understand it, software brittleness is more to do with API changes, and software's seemingly inherent lack of flexibility in overcoming even small API changes at any level; what this article is describing is different, but related, and should perhaps be more directed at software lifecycle. -- The Anome 10:53, Apr 30, 2005 (UTC)
- I doubt the term is truly standardized, but the article as I wrote it fairly describes the usage in several large software shops that I've worked in. But if you feel that there are alternate meanings, it would be great if you would add them.
- Atlant 00:21, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
An "ironic" term derived from analogies to metalworking, huh? The irony would be stronger if you melted in some carbon to make a steely alloy.
Interesting concept. Since all kinds of documents are digitized these days, while programs are changing, in the long run it would seem necessary to keep some sort of public reference on standard softwares and operative systems - if you don't, how will you be able to read a 20th century document or image reliably in 200 years time? Some sort of software archive.
Obviously, it won't be enough to collect boot cd's and installation files for the software applications and systems because that kind of binary code doesn't in itself (divorced from drivers and machine specs) give a totally independent and sufficient description of the system, not to mention the fact that install cd's are often copy-protected. The interaction between machine, software and OS is not really all decipherable from a booting disc, so collecting a software cache/archive would seem to imply asking the companies to give up the source code - which Microsoft and others won't do, of course. Strausszek October 1, 2006
Surely there should be some comments with regard to the examples of fundamental unix utilities that seem to defy this concept. tr, cat, echo, bash, tar, bzip etc. These programs have existed for a lot longer than the five year limit that this article states. I would say this comment more applies to proprietary GUI software, which constantly have API upgrades for "look and feel". Proprietary non-gui programs have this to a lesser effect (eg vista drivers), and lesser still in any kind of program where source is availableUser A1 01:26, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Software brittleness and Brittle (software) are written with a completely different tone, however the subject they concern is identical. If there aren't any objections, I'll be merging these soon.
I went ahead and merged the two articles. I didn't change the source text of the articles, but I tried to smooth out the resulting page. Edits and improvements are sure to follow, but I hope my contribution helped.
Helios2k6 16:53, 25 July 2008 (EST)