Software development process using 'throw away on fail' code
Original Publication Date: 2000-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Software development process using ‘throw away on fail’ code Disclosed is a new software development process which allows a large system to be created without extensive debugging from the system integrators. While open source is clearly not applicable for the development of commercial software, Linux has demonstrated that a large, geographically distributed community can create a complex working system. Being able to draw on a ‘ Linux like community’ in order to develop commercial software would have huge advantages, but such a community would need to be motivated by something other than a dislike of a perceived monopoly. The disclosed software development process allows a huge community to collaborate together in the creation of commercial software. Designers design a software in terms of a set of separate components with well defined interfaces. The components are advertised on the network with a price attached to the development of each (Step 1 in the figure). Developers submit contributions that are collected at a central point (Step 2). The contributions are tested for correctness both individually and together, contributions which fail are thrown away (Step 3). After a given period the price of components for which no correct implementation exists is increased and the components are readvertised. Developers are paid as function of how many tests their implementation passed (Step 4). Different implementations of components which pass all tests are all kept and one of them is chosen as the implementation to use in the entire system (for example choosing the component which uses the least resources). If later systems tests find the component to be defective, it can be replaced with one of the other implementations. Moreover, it might even be possible to do this dynamically, i.e. the software during its execution replaces a component found to be defective.