Opinion

CERN software has 600 million proton collisions and 40,000 bugs

Britain's technology is playing its part in the Large Hadron Collider Project. Just look at the efforts of UK based American testing outfit Coverity, which has identified 40,000 bugs in the software 

With over 50 million lines of software code presiding over 600 million proton collisions, the Large Hadron Collider was always going to be a work in progress.

According to analysis by development tester Coverity, there were 40,000 defects in the software.

Having flagged these up for its client, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (better known as CERN) was then able to get on with the important business of understanding the big questions about life, the universe and everything.

Some software projects suffer when developers try to recreate the wheel. What's it like working for a client who wants to recreate the Big Bang?

Satisfying, says Jennifer Johnson, Coverity's marketing VP: "By helping CERN achieve better governance of its software development process, we helped the CERN's quest to understand the universe."

One of the Large Hadron Collider's core software ingredients, ROOT, allowed CERN's physicists to store, analyse, and visualise petabytes of data about the experiment. 

Axel Naumann, a member of CERN's ROOT Development Team was quite pleased with the British company's contribution.

"Like CERN, Coverity finds the unknown; its development testing solution, Coverity Static Analysis, discovers the rare, unpredictable cases that can't be recreated in a test environment," he said

But is the Large Hadron Collider plug and play yet?

This was first published in September 2011

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