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The term software maintenance is often used simply to refer to fixing bugs in released code. However, the most maintenance is actually about enhancing functionality. Software that is unsuccessful will not require maintenance. Maintenance is associated with success, and is inevitable for successful software. It often represents a substantial revenue stream for the vendor organisation. It was this sort of thinking that encouraged a group of software engineering academics at Durham to set up the Centre for Software Maintenance in March 1987. By 1999, two significant factors were influencing the work of the Centre. Firstly its success was bringing expansion. This inevitably meant that the scope of our interests was broadening. Moreover, our focus began to change to address problems such as how to construct new software that is very easy to enhance. Evolution now expressed much more clearly where the heart of the research area lay. As a result, we decided to rename our Centre the Research Institute in Software Evolution (RISE). The activities of RISE are extensive, and to summarise our research, we have chosen four projects: program comprehension; understanding through visualising; software architectures for dependable distributed computing; and collaboration with industry.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2000