Jeffrey O. Grady, JOG Systems Engineering, Inc.
EETimes (11/10/2011 1:48 PM EST)
It is not possible for a functioning system to exist that is entirely computer software because software requires a machine medium within which to function. Systems that include software will always include hardware, a computing instrument as a minimum, and most often will involve people in some way.
Software is to the machine as our thoughts, ideas, and reasoning are to the gray matter making up our mind. While some people firmly believe in out-of-body experiences for people, few would accept a similar situation for software.
A particular business entity may be responsible for creating only the software element of a system and, to them, what they are developing could be construed a system, but their product can never be an operating reality by itself.
This is part of the difficulty in the development of software; it has no physical reality. It is no wonder then that we might turn to a graphical and symbolic expression as a means to capture its essence.
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