Chapter 12. Selecting Software

Most demons are as dumb as a sackful of hammers. This does not mean they’re safe to mess with, any more than a C++ compiler is “safe” in the hands of an enthusiastic computer science undergrad. Some people can mess up anything, and computational demonology adds a new and unwelcome meaning to terms like “memory leak” and “debugger.”

The Jennifer Morgue—CHARLES STROSS

12.1 The Quality Problem

When it comes to software, the choice is buy or build. Given the complexity of most products, the large majority of software today is purchased, not locally built; this includes almost all operating systems, word processors, web servers, web browsers, compilers, databases, and a vast assortment of other applications. That means ...

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