Saturday, February 28, 2009

Information Transparency

In discussing software transparency, we have differentiated the concept of information transparency from process transparency.

A recent article in Wired does tackle the issue of information transparency. It points out that, allowing access to huge volumes of data is not sufficient for transparency, the information also needs to be understandable. In our definition of transparency as a network of softgoals, we list auditability, understandability, informativeness, usuability and accessibility as required steps towards transparency.

The article mentions the use of XBRL , a domain language for financial data on top of XML, as a possible way of organizing data, and as such contributing for a better understandability as well as allowing for automated processes (software) to interpret them. Although this is positive, it is just a small part of the overall problem.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Well we all know how important requirements traceability is for software engineering.

I just found a curious example of traceability that has a lot to do with business processes and how the financial market does operate. I came to it from watching a video on foreclosures from ABC news.

The written material is here. It is an example of the lack of a proper process for keeping traceability. A side effect: for some people, it is becoming a possible relief, or at least a way of postponing losing their homes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cars are Hungry for Code

Recently, I have quoted Prof. Broy with respect to the amount of processors embeded in cars. Anyway, I just found out that IEEE Spectrum run an news article on the subject. Prof Broy and other experts are cited.
Bottom line: some of the top cars are getting out with around 100 M lines of code!
It is more than amazing, it is almost crazy. Anyway.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Transparency on the LA Times

Just read a note in the LA Times regarding the lack of transparency on the negotiation for the
bailout bill.

Interesting to notice a link to President Obama white paper on transparency, but the given link does not work.

However, the link to a 9 page (PDF) document is working, in there, one page details the ideas behind: "Create a Transparent and Connected Democracy".

Friday, February 06, 2009

Software Transparency

Our group at PUC-Rio just finished the first version of a Software Transparency site. Although the site is still in Portuguese, there are links to English material.

There will be, soon, an English version.