Software Ticks Need No Specifications

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Abstract

Software bugs cost time, money, and lives. They drive software research and development efforts, and are central to modern software engineering. Yet we lack a clear and general definition of what bugs are. Some bugs are defects, clearly defined as failures to meet some requirement or specification. However,there are many forms of undesirable program behaviour that are completely compatible with a typical program’s specification. In this paper, we argue that the lack of a criterion for identifying non-defect bugs is hampering the development of tools that find and fix bugs. We propose such a criterion, based on the idea of wasted effort, discuss how bugs that meet our definition of software ticks can complement defects, and sketch how our definition can help future work on software tools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering
PublisherIEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event43rd International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE 2021 - Virtual
Duration: 2021 May 232021 May 29

Conference

Conference43rd International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE 2021
CityVirtual
Period2021/05/232021/05/29

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Computer Science

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