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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] more on the merge-fest

From: Mark Thomas
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] more on the merge-fest
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 10:40:00 +0000 (GMT)

On Wed, 26 Nov 2003, Thomas Zander wrote:

> On Wednesday 26 November 2003 04:40, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> >
> > False. I know one very important thing about your experience: it leads
> > you to the conclusion you made. From this piece of data I can conclude
> > all kinds of things.
> Cool; since the conclusions are wrong, his methods must be wrong! Are you
> sure you are a programmer? This is more something a politician would say.

Uh.. if I conclude that 1 + 1 = 3, then my method is wrong.  Surely that's
the essence of testing (a wrong result [conclusion] indicates wrong code

What Andrew is trying to say is that saying "You know nothing about me"
on a public mailing list is nearly always wrong.  Andrew knows your
opinions (you just told them to him, in an email, on a public mailing
list).  From that, Andrew can derive *some* information about you (it may
not be much, it may not include your gender, but it is *not* nothing).
\not\forall \not= \not\exists

> Oh; your emails that 'prove' testing to be faulty will not convince anyone
> who has actually done testing based programming.  That should send a
> message to you.

But testing *is* faulty.  Even people who use test-based programming
produce programs that fail occasionally (sure, far less often than not
using test-based programming or some other equally good technique, but
there is always the possibility that there might be just another bug that
your tests failed to catch).  To assume "I use technique X, therefore my
code is bulletproof" is just arrogance.


|| Mark Thomas
|| Don't use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.

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