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Biting the Silver Bullet: Toward a Brighter Future for System Development
January 1992 (vol. 25 no. 1)
pp. 8-20

The author responds to two discouraging position papers by F.B. Brooks, Jr. (see ibid., vol.20, no.4, p 10-19, 1987) and D.L. Parnas (see Commun. ACM, vol.28, no.12, p.1326-35, 1985) regarding the potential of software engineering. While agreeing with most of the specific points made in both papers, he illuminates the brighter side of the coin, emphasizing developments in the field that were too recent or immature to have influenced Brooks and Parnas when they wrote their manuscripts. He reviews their arguments, and then considers a class of systems that has been termed reactive, which are widely considered to be particularly problematic. He reviews a number of developments that have taken place in the past several years and submits that they combine to form the kernel of a solid general-purpose approach to the development of complex reactive systems.

Citation:
David Harel, "Biting the Silver Bullet: Toward a Brighter Future for System Development," Computer, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 8-20, Jan. 1992, doi:10.1109/2.108047
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