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<p>For the last quarter of a century, software technologists have worked to address the "software crisis" identified in the 1960s. Their efforts have focused on a number of different areas, but have often been marked by the search for singular "best" solutions. However, the fundamental nature of software—involving basic and poorly understood problem-solving processes combined with unprecedented and multifaceted complexity—weighs heavily against the utility of singular approaches. Examination of the discourse of software technologists in a number of key professional and trade journals over the last 25 years illuminates various disputes central to the development of software engineering and highlights the necessity of a more pluralistic mindset revolving around synthesis and trade-offs.</p>

S. Shapiro, "Splitting the Difference: The Historical Necessity of Synthesis in Software Engineering," in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 19, no. , pp. 20-54, 1997.
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