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To: "Les Mikesell" <les,AT,futuresource,DOT,com>
Subject: Re: About P.Gutmann's critique of CIPE - etc. etc.
From: "R. Steve McKown" <rsmckown,AT,yahoo,DOT,com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 13:49:41 -0600
Cc: "CIPE-list" <cipe-l,AT,inka,DOT,de>
In-reply-to: <CJELIEBEFNCJAOMOOMNNIEAPCLAA.les@futuresource.com>
References: <CJELIEBEFNCJAOMOOMNNIEAPCLAA.les@futuresource.com>

On Friday 26 September 2003 11:04 am, Les Mikesell wrote:
> > From: Steve McKown
> >
> > CIPE's total code size is an order of magnitude smaller than the code
> > size of just the openssl library.  Over the life of a software product,
> > there is a direct correlation between code size and both total defects
> > and maintenance cost (time, effort).
> I think you should consider maturity and exposure as well.  Hopefully the
> time and effort spent on the larger product eventually result in getting
> the bugs fixed and a larger exposure can result in finding the more obscure
> ones sooner.

Good points.  I think both products show good maturity, although that could 
change for CIPE; more in a moment.

It's also true that a larger exposure (i.e. user population) increases the 
rate of defects discovered.  Of course, given that a more complex product has 
more total defects, it needs a larger exposure to achieve a higher defect 
discovery rate to keep up its progress.  This process is often exponential, 
so that a more complex product needs exponentially more users.  This is how, 
in part, Linux could deliver better reliability than Windows98.  Linux had, 
what, 1% of Win98's the installed base?  Yet this was enough to maintain a 
product with a much, much larger percentage relative to features.

CIPE is certainly at a cross-roads because of the security concerns and the 
changes in developer resources (see Olaf's post) that leave the resolution 
picture unclear as of yet.  I think maturity and exposure are sufficient for 
CIPE -- if the current concerns can be addressed timely to maintain the 
customer base.  If the customer base falls too much, maturing changes will 
take much longer, which has a host of nasty consequences.  But don't forget 
the benefits of simplicity.  New developers (or more time from existing ones) 
will be efficient fast.  A timely resolution and some effort to increase the 
customer base pulls CIPE through, in a better position than it was a week 

All the best,

Steve McKown
Titanium Mirror, Inc.

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