IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 7 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Software Patent Institute
True Seaborn: AUTHOR [+3]
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Quality Assurance for Computel Software -- Robert Dunn and Richard Ullman (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1982, 351 pp., $24.50.)
This lucid, well-organized, and immensely readable book covers an astounding breadth of material in its 351 pages. A great many of the topics discussed, viewed separately, might not ordinarily be identified with quality assurance fence tions. Yet the authors' low-key message, communicated through the logical progression of topics, is that all aspects of software are -- and must be -- considerations in a proper quality assurance program.
Addressing a broad range of topics in a limited space involves an unfortunate corollary: a restriction on the amount of detail that can be presented with each subject. It is very difficult to determine the book's intended focus or the most appropriate audience. The majority of the book is written at a tutorial level, yet the last chapter goes into excruciating mathematical detail. The early chapters are intended for software neophytes or people who possess a hardware quality assurance background, yet the end is surely of interest to only a small percentage of professional software QA personnel.
The bulk of the book can be appreciated by most software practitioners, but even here there is a problem. There is too little detail on most topics to consider this a "how-to" exposition on software quality assurance. In order to fully appreciate the importance of many subjects that are discussed very briefly or referenced only by name, one should possess a broad software engineering background. As the authors note, this is seldom the case with software personnel.
Despite these perceived problems of scope and focus, there is little to criticize about the writing. The authors' command and use of English offers a refreshing contrast to much of the current writing on
technical subjects, and the text is interesting -- often engrossing. There are enough informational nuggets throughout to attract readers of vastly different backgrounds, although t...