It seems to me that there are two threads of discussion here that are
not at all merging. One issue is whether testing can and should be made
cheaper. Maybe it can, but testing is the last line of defense in
software quality, and is highly problematic, relying essentially on
chance to hit upon the right combination of conditions to cause a
defect in the software to manifest itself. It may be that extensive
testing (in the form of clinical trials) is the state of the art in
medicine, too. But in software we can and should do better. Every
computer science student learns in his or her first semester that the
halting problem is insoluble, and so we all throw up our hands and say:
Software is just too complicated. We can't understand it. At best, we
can test what we have and see if it behaves as we expect. Whatever its
merit, that's a defeatist attittude. There is a LOT we can do to
improve the reliability and safety of software systems. To me, the key
to making reliability cost effective is to come up with better
solutions, not just put more money into testing.

Gregory Woodhouse  <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

"It is foolish to answer a question that
you do not understand."
--G. Polya ("How to Solve It")

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