Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Software is not a mechanical component, i.e. "part", and a head-unit is not a car. For one, the complexity of "parts" is several orders of magnitude smaller than that of "software" (do you disagree?).
(You could also talk about replacing software with giraffe and head unit with tomato...)
GENIVI: moving an industry to open source
Posted Aug 9, 2012 12:51 UTC (Thu) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
If you accept that the parts of a car must be serviceable by arbitrary 3rd parties, then the software must be. Otherwise, you must argue only /some/ parts should, and/or some not. In which case, the argument you use for why software should not be must not apply to those other parts (otherwise, your argument is non-sensical).
That software is not mechanical is such an argument. But why does that matter? If by mechanical, you mean the solid stuff, well the oil isn't that either. That's seems a strangely arbitrary argument.
As for complexity, the car in its entirety may well be just as complex as the software (excluding the software). The car in its entirety certainly must be least as complex as the software, so the extension of your argument to the car would mean that /no/ component of it should be serviceable or modifiable.
Posted Aug 9, 2012 15:12 UTC (Thu) by fb (subscriber, #53265)
I accept that car parts must be serviceable, but I do not expect software of embedded parts to be arbitrarily serviceable.
> Otherwise, you must argue only /some/ parts should, and/or some not.
Which was exactly what I was saying.
> In which case, the argument you use for why software should not be must not apply to those other parts (otherwise, your argument is non-sensical).
My position is that software of an embedded "head unit" (weird term) is fundamentally different from "car parts". So I really don't see why the serviceability requirement of car parts would be, by default, valid for it.
From my perspective, it is up to you to make a case for the need to service such parts...
> As for complexity, the car in its entirety may well be just as complex as the software (excluding the software). The car in its entirety certainly must be least as complex as the software, so the extension of your argument to the car would mean that /no/ component of it should be serviceable or modifiable.
I really do not buy any this. How many millions of lines of code are we talking about in the Linux kernel? How often that code changes?
How often do you hear about serious engineering SNAFUs relating to new released cars or car's mechanical parts? How often you get that with new software releases? Surely, if the complexity and rate of changes is comparable it would somehow in the same ball park? (not saying that cars don't get recalled for bad parts, just saying that SNAFU frequency is a /lot/ lower).
Car parts are serviceable because they have an extraordinary level of well designed specifications, specifications which are designed for future compatibility and maintenance, and all things considered, those parts do not change that much from one year to another. Compare that to software change rates.
The same countries that made car part serviceability a legal requirement, also made an engineer's license or degree a requirement to design such parts. Do we have anything like that in software 'engineering'?
Posted Aug 10, 2012 0:41 UTC (Fri) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
No they didn't. Anyone can create a car part and put it on their car.
There are a small handful of exceptions where the components are supposed to be government approved (headlights and tires are two examples), but in practice this requirement is generally even more ignored than the speed limits.
If you have a suitably equipped garage, you can build the entire vehicle from piles of metal.
There is not degree or engineers license required to do this.
Now, when you start selling parts to other people, there are more requirements.
Posted Aug 10, 2012 2:23 UTC (Fri) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds