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A Trend Towards Lower Software Maintenance Budgets?

 
 
editormt
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      10-30-2007
Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
going down. Why?

Question: what percentage of your software development budget is
devoted to maintenance. Maintenance is defined as process of
correcting, enhancing and optimising deployed software.

25% or less of the budget ...........37%
26% to 50% of the budget ............27%
51% to 75% of the budget ............24%
more than 75% of the budget .........12%

Number of participants: 433

The annual maintenance costs in the US are estimated at over $ 70
billion. According to the different studies produced in the last
century, maintenance should cost between 66% and 90% of the total life
cycle costs. We can see in our survey that the majority of the
participants estimate their maintenance budget below the 50%
threshold. If we accept that these numbers are representative of a
modified situation, many hypothesis can be made to explain it.

Go to http://www.methodsandtools.com/dynpo...hp?Maintenance
to see these reasons and get more resources on software maintenance.

 
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CBFalconer
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      10-30-2007
editormt wrote:
>
> Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
> activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
> show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
> going down. Why?


Because in c.l.c you are accessing the better programmers, who tend
to write perfect software, which anticipate all future
requirements, and have no bugs. Next question.

--
Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
<http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>



--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

 
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jacob navia
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      10-30-2007
Malcolm McLean wrote:
>
> "editormt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
>> Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
>> activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
>> show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
>> going down. Why?
>>

> Extreme programming. It has been recognised that it is easier to write
> things from scratch than to try to endlessly patch old code.
>


Specially when the salary of programmers goes down and down and down.


--
jacob navia
jacob at jacob point remcomp point fr
logiciels/informatique
http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~lcc-win32
 
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Malcolm McLean
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      10-30-2007

"editormt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
> Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
> activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
> show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
> going down. Why?
>

Extreme programming. It has been recognised that it is easier to write
things from scratch than to try to endlessly patch old code.

--
Free games and programming goodies.
http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~bgy1mm

 
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santosh
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      10-31-2007
jacob navia wrote:

> Malcolm McLean wrote:
>>
>> "editormt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
>>> Software maintenance is an important part of the software
>>> development activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent
>>> poll seems to show that the part of maintenance in software
>>> development budget is going down. Why?
>>>

>> Extreme programming. It has been recognised that it is easier to
>> write things from scratch than to try to endlessly patch old code.
>>

>
> Specially when the salary of programmers goes down and down and down.


Interesting. Over here it's going up and up and up, at least for a
subset of "programmers".

 
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Flash Gordon
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      10-31-2007
Malcolm McLean wrote, On 30/10/07 22:58:
>
> "editormt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
>> Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
>> activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
>> show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
>> going down. Why?
>>

> Extreme programming. It has been recognised that it is easier to write
> things from scratch than to try to endlessly patch old code.


That is a vast oversimplification at the very least. I have 50,000 lines
of code, is it easier to change 10 lines of code to fix an issue or
rewrite the program? I have a 5 line program, is it easier to patch it
for a massive change or rewrite it?
--
Flash Gordon
 
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Chris Dollin
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      10-31-2007
Flash Gordon wrote:

> Malcolm McLean wrote, On 30/10/07 22:58:
>>
>> "editormt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
>>> Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
>>> activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
>>> show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
>>> going down. Why?
>>>

>> Extreme programming. It has been recognised that it is easier to write
>> things from scratch than to try to endlessly patch old code.

>
> That is a vast oversimplification at the very least.


Granting that ...

> I have 50,000 lines
> of code, is it easier to change 10 lines of code to fix an issue or
> rewrite the program? I have a 5 line program, is it easier to patch it
> for a massive change or rewrite it?


He said /endlessly/. One ten-line fix might be cost-effective. A thousand
might not be.

It's all choices of tradeoffs; one needs to know the business value and the
expected costs.

(I don't know what Malcolm meant when he said "extreme programming", but I
do know that the term as I understand it doesn't mean (only) "rewrite, don't
modify". If you /have/ a Whole Bunch Of Existing Code, how you deal with
it will Depend On Many Things, whether you're using XP or not.)

--
Chris "not /that/ XP, the /real/ XP" Dollin

Hewlett-Packard Limited registered no:
registered office: Cain Road, Bracknell, Berks RG12 1HN 690597 England

 
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Flash Gordon
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      10-31-2007
Chris Dollin wrote, On 31/10/07 10:00:
> Flash Gordon wrote:
>
>> Malcolm McLean wrote, On 30/10/07 22:58:
>>> "editormt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>> news:(E-Mail Removed) ps.com...
>>>> Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
>>>> activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
>>>> show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
>>>> going down. Why?
>>>>
>>> Extreme programming. It has been recognised that it is easier to write
>>> things from scratch than to try to endlessly patch old code.

>> That is a vast oversimplification at the very least.

>
> Granting that ...


OK, so you agree with the main point of my post

>> I have 50,000 lines
>> of code, is it easier to change 10 lines of code to fix an issue or
>> rewrite the program? I have a 5 line program, is it easier to patch it
>> for a massive change or rewrite it?

>
> He said /endlessly/. One ten-line fix might be cost-effective. A thousand
> might not be.
>
> It's all choices of tradeoffs; one needs to know the business value and the
> expected costs.
>
> (I don't know what Malcolm meant when he said "extreme programming", but I
> do know that the term as I understand it doesn't mean (only) "rewrite, don't
> modify". If you /have/ a Whole Bunch Of Existing Code, how you deal with
> it will Depend On Many Things, whether you're using XP or not.)


Yes, which was my point. Sometimes code needs to be scrapped and
rewritten, sometimes it needs to be modified. This applies at all scales
(yes, I've been involved in scrapping and rewriting what after the
rewrite was about 50000 LOC). So blanket advice to scrap and rewrite is
bad advice just as blanket advice to always modify what you have is bad.
--
Flash Gordon
 
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Walter Roberson
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      10-31-2007
In article <(E-Mail Removed)-gordon.me.uk>,
Flash Gordon <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Sometimes code needs to be scrapped and
>rewritten, sometimes it needs to be modified. This applies at all scales
>(yes, I've been involved in scrapping and rewriting what after the
>rewrite was about 50000 LOC). So blanket advice to scrap and rewrite is
>bad advice just as blanket advice to always modify what you have is bad.


Our particular development cycle usually involves writing something
in a prototyping language (e.g., MATLAB, maple, Mathematica, IDL)
and hacking on it endlessly for a few years, changing our mind about
what it is supposed to do several times a day. This is the exploratory
research phase, where we often do not know if something is possible
and we often do not know if we have reached the "right" answer.
The sort of code where a bug might happen to produce a better answer
than what we thought we were coding, leaving us to scratch our heads
and re-re-analyze to improve our techniques. Naturally, with so many
changes in purpose and technique going on, the end result is often
a coding mess.

Once we have figured out what works (and what doesn't) and have
a functional implementation, it's time to hand it over to another
group that extracts the good parts and rewrites them cleanly and
efficiently in C++ or C as part of our integrated research framework.

It would not be unfair to say that at that point we are throwing
out several 10's of kLOC and several person-years of coding, to be
rewritten into a completely different form. This isn't a waste of
time: it is the point that seperates the "Research" from the
"Development".
--
So you found your solution
What will be your last contribution?
-- Supertramp (Fool's Overture)
 
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Mark McIntyre
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      10-31-2007
On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 22:58:53 -0000, in comp.lang.c , "Malcolm McLean"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>"editormt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
>> Software maintenance is an important part of the software development
>> activity, but it is also the less discussed. A recent poll seems to
>> show that the part of maintenance in software development budget is
>> going down. Why?
>>

>Extreme programming. It has been recognised


The word you're looking for is 'postulated'.
And anyway Extreme Programming is just a high-falutin Web 2.0ism for
what most of us have done for decades, ie short-cycle continuous
development to cope with rapidly changing (or inadequately defined!)
business requirements, and a demand for rapid delivery of /something,
anything/....

> that it is easier to write
>things from scratch than to try to endlessly patch old code.


IMHO it is /sometimes/ easier to do this, and /sometimes/ more
complicated.

eg If I have a ten-million line accounting programme, I'm not going to
rewrite it from scratch to handle the change from two to zero decimals
for Icelandic Krona.

--
Mark McIntyre

"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are,
by definition, not smart enough to debug it."
--Brian Kernighan
 
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