What is Software?

Software in Plain English

Open Source Software, Freeware and Shareware

How Open Source Works - HowStuffWorks.com

The issue of software piracy can be studies using the following scenario:

A company bought a microsoftware computer program for a part time student to use at work. The license agreement stipulates, “You should make a backup copy of this program, but you may only use the program on a single machine at any one time." Knowing you have permission to make a backup copy, why not make other copies for friends? They only use one computer each and these are backup copies. After all, making backups appears to adhere to the ‘spirit’ of the license though not the ‘letter’ of the license agreement.
(Sackson 1996)

These are some of the responses to the ethical debate as to whether software piracy is actually OK to do:




Software Bugs

Software bugs or 'glitches' are problems in a software program's source code or in its design that prevents it from working as intended. The key issues here are the ethics in ensuring that programs work properly, as no-one want an unreliable computer program. The issue, however, also needs to look at the alternate view in that we may becoming too dependent on computers and, therefore, as a matter of course expect them to be reliable. The link below is a Wired magazine article on the worst bugs of all time.
History's Worst Software Bugs

The issue of bugs in the system can be studied using the scenario below:

Your team is working on a computer-controlled laser device for treating cancerous tumours. The computer controls direction, intensity and timing of the beam that destroys the tumour. Various delays have put the project behind schedule, and the deadline is approaching. There will not be time to complete all the planned testing. The system has been functioning properly in the routine treatment scenarios that have been tested so far. You are the project manager, and you are considering whether to deliver the system on time, while continuing testing, and to make patches if bugs are found. (Baase 2003)