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Stabilize Or Die


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Stabilize or Die: A philosophy for the software lifecycle

Stabilize or Die is the notion that software needs a consistent high degree of reliability to be successful.

Here "Stability" is couched in terms of "reliability". In other words, unstable is bad. I've seen definitions of "Stabilitry" that is couched in terms of "resistance and difficulty to change". In that context, "unstable" is understood as a good thing.

Therefore, for the sake of this discussion, Stable = Reliable = good.
Questions
  • If your application and application development software were to not drastically change ever, but instead just stabilize and become increasingly more reliable (stable), would you be better served?

    I wish my frigging operating system would Stabilize Or Die. Actually Win 2 K (which I run on laptops) is great in this regard, and NT 4 with SP 6a is good too (I run this on servers that don't change at all anymore). I'm hoping that Win 2 K is the last operating system I'll ever change to. What are the odds of this? I can't think of a single thing I need that's not in Win 2 K.-- Steven Black

    How about:
  • Support for 64 bit processors
  • Mac like useability, thing like, update the shortcuts and registry if a file moves
  • Seamlessly support mirroring my desktop and laptop, install on one, it is on the other. Being able to open Outlook on two machines that access the same email file would be nice too. (Grandted this isn't strickly and OS issue.)
  • Less crashes
  • Skins OS wide rather than ap specific. I have some stuff that looks like 3.1, some that looks like 95, some like 98/2000 and some that looks like XP and I am running 2000.)
    I wish they'd at least have a longer shelf life. Thats for sure; a new Windows release every year is nuts. But, in response to "a single thing I need that's not in Win 2 K", I can think of a host of things. Mostly dealing with the file system and the interface. Basically, what you need as an IT pro is very different what an average computer user needs. But, does it all have to happen right away? For us, no. For MS, they need to make bucks somehow.

    Fortunately, I see this changing already. Subscriptions to the OS or an open source OS would mean the OS could stop changing to so much to generate revenue, stability takes care of itself. And on top of that, the bulls eye for the next two or three years will be security, which also means modifying core functinoality are low priority.-- Mike Helland

    Well, can they make it more modular like Linux. You can upgrade the kernel, or the network subssytem, or whatever. We also don't need a new UI everytime we get a new OS... then again, I guess they are still looking for one that works. (Maybe the will look at OS/2 again!) Or, perhaps UI can become another module and we can run any one we want.. perhaps that is what MS needs to breaks it's monopoly.

    Modular UI woudl be fantastic, though, I don't think you'll see the DeskTop user interface be dumped anytime soon, so XP themes really handle that. But I wasn't really talking about interface changes like between Windows 95 and XP, even 3.1 and XP. There is something beyond the virtual desktop. That is what I want to see. -- Mike Helland
    "Stabilize or Die is the notion that software needs a consistent high degree of reliability to be successful. Here "Stability" is couched in terms of "reliability". In other words, unstable is bad."

    I once read somewhere that if the automotive industry had changed as rapidly as the computer industry, you would be able to purchase a Model-T for a penny (that was close to 10 years ago). Our profession demands that we be adapted to change - error is inherent in change. I doubt we'll ever be afforded the luxury of stability or reliability.....
    --->The Kid<---

    Rather than take the tempting path and recall how thing have changed, it might be useful to think about what might lie far ahead. It seems likely that pretty soon truly intelligent computers and programming languages will be available. We can talk about GUIs and Skins, but what about when the discussion switches to 'personalities' and how to keep hackers from infecting your cervant [just made up word meaning 'Computer Servant'] with cases of potty mouth or converting it to Zorasterism?

    See also: Bloat Or Die
    Contributors: Steven Black
    Category Big System Category Programming Languages Category Project Management
  • ( Topic last updated: 2002.05.19 01:03:20 AM )