IEEE Computer Volume 11 Number 6 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1978-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Software Patent Institute
Dr. Francis P. Mathur: AUTHOR [+3]
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.
Recently published books and new periodicals may be submitted for review to the Boah Reuiews Editor:
Dr. Francis P. Mathur
Professor and Computer Science Coordinator Mathematics Department California State Polytechnic University 8801 West Temple Avenue Pomona, CA 91 i68 Telephone: (714) 5984421
(Note:publications reviewed in this section are not available from the IEEE Computer Society. Please order directly from the publisher.J
B78-16 Software Metrics -- Tom Gilb (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Winthrop Publishing Co., 1976, 282 pp., $1 4.95)
In a specially written foreword Gerald M. Weinberg suggests that this interesting new book is "part of a public maturation ritual for the art and science of software development. "
Up to now computer software has been something that people built -- they did it, in the sense that developing programs was an engaging intellectual activity. However, at some point in the growth of a scientific (some may say technological) discipline enough experience is gained about the doing and it becomes possible to think about what was done. In addition to concern with the activity per se, there is an auxiliary interest in the product of the activity, not so much for its utility but for its properties independent of (but not disregarding) the actual function performed.
A software metric may be defined as a generalized measure that quantitatively describes properties of software, expressed in a form that suggests a functional value for the metric. In this framework Gilb's book attempts to provide a compendium of metrics of various kinds and suggests the ways people involved in software can make use of them.
The presentation is divided into two parts -- applications and concepts. In the application area the discussion deals with a broad range of measurement methods. For example, the section on "Maintainability Measurement and the Debugging Technique" presents data relating programming bugs to maintenance costs, time to repair, detection rate, relative statement-type percentages, and a number of other factors. Metrics that describe the program development process include component inspections, error rates, the effectiveness of inspection list techniques, portability measures, programmer motivation, and design goals. In addition, Part I includes extensive treatment of methods for automating the software measuring process. It provides descriptions of several automated tools that have software metrics outputs, and presents results of numerous experiments.
The second part of the book is...