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Defect Density

ln “Software’s Hidden Clockwork: A General Theory of Software Defects“, Les Hatton presents these two interesting charts:

The thing I find hard to believe is that Les has concluded that there is no obvious significant relationship between defect density and the choice of programming language. But notice that he doesn’t seem to have any data points on his first chart for the relatively newer, less “tricky“, and easier-to-program languages like Java, C#, Ruby, Python, et al.

So, do you think Les might have jumped the gun here by prematurely asserting the virtual independence of defect density on programming language?

  1. Jeremy
    December 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    In the open source shop where I work we’ve experience quite a difference between a few runtimes, and not the languages per se. We use Java (Hotspot JVM – build 23.1-b03 on RHEL 6), Erlang’s “new Beam” and Ruby with REE/MRI (1.8.7 – 1.9.3). The most problematic runtime for us is REE/MRI. We’ve seen this gnarly one quite a few times: http://timetobleed.com/the-broken-promises-of-mrireeyarv, and now after 4 years with over a dozen ruby/rails apps in production we are now considering a migration back to our original platform, the JVM. Our Erlang runtime seems to be the most stable of the three but the more difficult one for the devs to transition to.

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