Posts in category

Programming


More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined. Why is this cause of disaster so common? First, our techniques of estimating are poorly developed. More seriously, they reflect an unvoiced assumption which is quite untrue, i.e., that all will go well. Second, our estimating techniques fallaciously …

91

This paper reviews algorithmic information theory, which is an attempt to apply information-theoretic and probabilistic ideas to recursive function theory. Typical concerns in this approach are, for example, the number of bits of information required to specify an algorithm, or the probability that a program whose bits are chosen by coin flipping produces a given …

88

THE recent development of various methods of modulation such as PCM and PPM which exchange bandwidth for signal-to-noise ratio has intensified the interest in a general theory of communication. A basis for such a theory is contained in the important papers of Nyquist1 and Hartley2 on this subject. In the present paper we will extend …

93

A grammar can be regarded as a device that enumerates the sentences of a language. We study a sequence of restrictions that limit grammars first to Turing machines, then to two types of system from which a phrase structure description of the generated language can be drawn, and finally to finite state Markov sources (finite …

85

UNIX is a general-purpose, multi-user, interactive operating system for the Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-11/40 and 11/45 computers. It offers a number of features seldom found even in larger operating systems, including: (1) a hierarchical file system incorporating demountable volumes; (2) compatible file, device, and inter-process I/O; (3) the ability to initiate asynchronous processes; (4) system …

59

Abstract “Meaning” may be assigned to a string in a context-free language by defining “attributes” of the symbols in a derivation tree for that string. The attributes can be defined by functions associated with each production in the grammar. This paper examines the implications of this process when some of the attributes are “synthesized”, i.e., …

64

In case you expect me to give a complete, well-balanced and neutral survey of the advanced programming activities of the world, I must warn you that I don’t feel inclined, nor entitled to do so. My title already indicates that I am going to meditate on the subject, which is something quite different from giving …

128

Of all the monsters that fill the nightmares of our folklore, none terrify more than werewolves, because they transform unexpectedly from the familiar into horrors. For these, one seeks bullets of silver that can magically lay them to rest. The familiar software project, at least as seen by the nontechnical manager, has something of this …

79

Not only are there no silver bullets now in view, the very nature of software makes it unlikely that there will be any–no inventions that will do for software productivity, reliability, and simplicity what electronics, transistors, and large-scale integration did for computer hardware. We cannot expect ever to see twofold gains every two years.

103