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In commercial software development organizations, increased complexity of products, shortened development cycles, and higher customer expectations of quality have placed a major responsibility on the areas of software debugging, testing, and verification. As this issue of the IBM Systems Journal illustrates, there are exciting improvements in the underlying technology on all three fronts. However, we observe that due to the informal nature of software development as a whole, the prevalent practices in the industry are still immature, even in areas where improved technology exists. In addition, tools that incorporate the more advanced aspects of this technology are not ready for large-scale commercial use. Hence there is reason to hope for significant improvements in this area over the next several years.
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