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The power of 10: rules for developing safety-critical code

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1 Author(s)
G. J. Holzmann ; JPL Lab. for Reliable Software, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Existing coding guidelines therefore offer limited benefit, even for critical applications. A verifiable set of well-chosen coding rules could, however, assist in analyzing critical software components for properties that go well beyond compliance with the set of rules itself. To be effective, though, the set of rules must be small, and it must be clear enough that users can easily understand and remember it. In addition, the rules must be specific enough that users can check them thoroughly and mechanically. To put an upper bound on the number of rules, the set is restricted to no more than 10 rules that will provide an effective guideline. Although such a small set of rules cannot be all-encompassing, following it can achieve measurable effects on software reliability and verifiability

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 6 )