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Production of Large Computer Programs

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129421D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 16 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

HERBERT D. BENINGTON: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The paper is adapted from a presentation at a symposium on advanced programming methods for digital computers sponsored by the Navy Mathematical Computing Advisory Panel and the Office of Naval Research in June 1956. The author describes the techniques used to produce the programs for the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 6% of the total text.

Page 1 of 16

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1983 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Production of Large Computer Programs

HERBERT D. BENINGTON

  (Image Omitted: © 1983 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or pan of this material IS granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Authur's Address: System Development Corporation, 7929 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22101. Adapted with permission from Proceedings, Symposium on Advanced Programming Methods for Digital Computers, Washington, D.C., June 28- 29, 1956. ONR Symposium Report ACR-15, Office of Naval Research. Illustrations courtesy

MITRE Corporation. © 1983 AFIPS 0164-1239/83/040350-361

Production of Large Computer Programs

HERBERT D. BENINGTON .00/00)

The paper is adapted from a presentation at a symposium on advanced programming methods for digital computers sponsored by the Navy Mathematical Computing Advisory Panel and the Office of Naval Research in June 1956. The author describes the techniques used to produce the programs for the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.2 [History of Computing] -- SAGE, software, systems General Terms: Design, Management Additional Key Words and Phrases: Lincoln Laboratory

Editor's Note

When we all began to work on SAGE, we believed our own myths about software -- that one can do anything with software on a general- purpose computer; that software is easy to write, test, and maintain; that it is easily replicated, doesn't wear out, and is not subject to transient errors. We had a lot to learn.

As Herb Benington discusses in the following paper, we had already successfully written quite a lot of software for experimental purposes. We were misled by the success we had had with capable engineers writing programs that were small enough for an individual to understand fully. With SAGE, we were faced with programs that were too large for one person to grasp entirely and also with the need to hire and train large numbers of people to become programmers -- after all, there were only a handful of trained programmers in the whole world. We were faced with organizing and managing a whole new art.

Bob Wieser (who led the software design and production effort at Lincoln) and his group decided with great wisdom to build the tools needed for such an endeavor instead of trying to do the whole job with the limited resources at hand. We paid a price -- the schedule slipped by a year -- but the organization that was established really got on top of t...