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Beware the Optimistic Engineer

At the end of EWD500, an account of how he discovered and then corrected a bug in the On-the-Fly Garbage Collection algorithm, Edsger Dijkstra draws the following conclusion:

... for the design of multiprocessor installations we cannot rely on the traditional approach of the optimistic engineer, who, when the design looks reasonable, puts it together to see if it works.

After having just spent several weeks tracking down and fixing a bug in some multiprocessor software that I wrote myself, I now recognize myself to be an 'optimistic engineer'.  I am teaching myself to use Alloy in order to keep my 'optimism' under control.

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