Open software, secure software

Monday, 1 March 2004, 1:51 PM EST

Fifty-plus years ago Grace Hopper used her experiences with programming the UNIVAC with FLOW-MATIC (an open-source project) to write her first compiler paper and the modern era of computing programming began. Some would also say that things haven't improved much since her day.

Indeed, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) estimated that in 2001 $59.5 billion annually, about 0.6 percent of the gross domestic product was being lost because of software bugs. The Sustainable Computing Consortium (SCC), an academic, government and business initiative to drive IT improvements estimates that's on the low side. Its estimate is that defective computer systems cost U.S. companies alone over $200 billion annually. Yow!

Hardily a week goes by that we don't report a major software bug or security hole at eWEEK.com. As Gregory Tassey, the senior economist in charge of the NIST report says, "Software is at the extreme end in terms of errors or bugs that are in typical products when they are sold."

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols at eWeek.

[ Read more ]




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