Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Testing numerical software is hard. It takes a certain philosophical -- or perhaps vengeful -- frame of mind to find problems that will cause a mostly-correct code to behave badly. Not only is it difficult to find truly pathological problems, it's hard to write the code to verify the computed answer. And the immediate reward? Glaring evidence of one's own fallibility, along with more work. Testing and debugging are fun, but they're more fun when taken in small doses.

Taking a break from debugging my test code, I looked at the SF Chronicle web site and found out that Arnold Schwarzenegger will run in the recall election. I know there are other people out there thinking of the antics of Jesse Ventura in Minnesota. I suppose there are also people thinking of Ronald Reagan, who was more glib and less associated with smashing chairs into the heads of wrestlers and movie cyborgs. The recall election is foolishness. It's taking time, money, and political resources to replace a governor in a bind with another governor who will be in the same bind. California finally passed a budget, one based on heavy loans. Davis protested that he would have preferred an increase in the sales tax, but if he had refused to sign, it would have meant minimum wage for state employees, starting at the end of August and continuing until a budget was in place.

However, the whole mess does provide entertainment.

  • Currently drinking: Miso soup