Reflections on Bernhard Steffen's Physics of Software Tools

Hubert Garavel and Radu Mateescu

Models, Mindsets, Meta: The What, the How, and the Why Not? Volume 11200 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 186-207, June 2019


Many software tools have been developed to implement the concepts of formal methods, sometimes with great success, but also with an impressive tool mortality and an apparent dispersion of efforts. There has been little analysis so far of such tool development as a whole, in order to make it more coherent, efficient, and useful to the society. Recently, however, Bernhard Steffen published a paper entitled ``The Physics of Software Tools: SWOT Analysis and Vision'' that precisely proposes such a global vision. We highlight the key ideas of this paper and review them in light of our own experience in designing and implementing the CADP toolbox for the specification and analysis of concurrent systems.

25 pages

Slides of H. Garavel's lecture: