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If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then quality must be as well. We live in a world where beauty to one is a complete turnoff to another. Software quality is no different. We have the developer's perspective, the end users perspective, the testers perspective, and so forth. As you can see, meeting the requirements might be different from being fit for a purpose, which can also be different from complying with rules and regulations on how to develop and deploy the software. Yet we can think of all three perspectives as ways to determine how to judge and assess software quality. These three perspectives tie directly to the persistent software attributes focus section in this issue and, consequently, to the concept of software "-ilities". The -ilities (or software attributes) are a collection of closely related behaviors that by themselves have little or no value to the end users but that can greatly increase a software application or system's value when added.
Date of Publication: Nov.-Dec. 2004