Re: A320 Software Maintenance (1st April)

From:         Pete Mellor <>
Date:         07 Apr 94 13:54:59 PDT
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Following a steady stream of enquiries from people who either want further 
information about the Air France software maintenance contract, or simply 
reassurance that the world of safety-critical software hasn't yet turned 
into a total nightmare, I suppose I'd better come clean before somebody 
sues me! 

The item "A320 Software goes on "3rd Party" maintenance", dated Fri Apr 1 
23:52:46 1994, was AN APRIL 1ST JOKE! 

The magazine "Goddaj" doesn't exist. The word (or one very similar in 
spelling), pronounced rather like "g'day!" would be said with an Australian 
accent, does in fact mean "good morning" or "good afternoon" in Danish, 

Thor Avionics doesn't exist, either, although my Danish friend, who definitely 
does exist (Hi, Hellmuth! :-), once marketed a powerful multi-tasking PC 
called the Thor. (The Thor was designed and developed by another friend, David 
Oliver of Stevenage. The reason why the Thor did not take first Denmark, and 
then the world, by storm is a long and true one, which I shall not relate 

Wolf Larssen was a name I saw above a shop in Copenhagen. The name probably 
stuck in my mind because (someone correct me if I'm wrong!) it was the name 
of the villain in "The Sea Wolf" by Jack London. 

Theophile Gautier (Gauthier?) was a French author. 

Sextant Avionique, Matra, and Logica do exist, are in the safety-critical 
software business, and were included to give artistic verisimilitude to an 
otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. 

Readers should be assured that A320 software maintenance remains in the 
capable hands of Airbus Industrie and its subcontractors! 

Peter Mellor, Centre for Software Reliability, 
City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB 
Tel: +44 (71) 477-8422, Fax.: +44 (71) 477-8585, 
E-mail (JANET): 

Disclaimer: My jokes are my own. I just borrow some of my opinions! :-)