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June 2006
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August 2006

That Was Easy!

Update December 11, 2006 - Fixed link to Doug's Easy Button Mod.

Those of you in the US are probably familiar with the office supply store Staples, and the recent advertisements using the "Easy Button".  My brother Doug has always enjoyed working on unusual projects in his spare time.  Apparently, he's got just a little too much spare time on his hands these days.  His most recent project?  Modifying the "Easy Button" - either the easy way or the hard way.  Check it out!

A Year In The Life

July 24 will mark the one year anniversary of Cool Verification (for a good laugh, check out my slightly tacky first post).  When I started the site I knew very little about blogging, and wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in reading anything I had to say.  It was also quite a challenge getting over the fear of making a fool out of myself (as it turns out, it's really not that bad once you've done it a few times)! 

Continue reading "A Year In The Life" »

The Meaning of 'e'

I consider myself reasonably knowledgeable when it comes to the 'e' language, but a question from a reader a couple of weeks ago asked a question that I really had never thought too much about before.  He wanted to know what 'e' signified - in other words, what the heck does that letter 'e' mean?  Mike Stellfox from Cadence was kind enough (as usual) to provide the answer:

When Yoav (founder of Verisity and the main inventor of the e language), came up with “e”, his idea was “English minus minus” (as opposed to C++).  The idea was to create a language that would allow verification engineers to more concisely describe their verification environment in a more English-like and declarative way.  It might be arguable how “English-like” e really is, but you probably get the idea of the analogy when you consider how declarative the language is in the following areas:

  • Declarative constraints
  • Declarative coverage
  • Declarative temporals

Thanks Mike, and thanks to the reader who asked the question!

Subjects Wanted

Update July 5, 2006 - Fixed a small typo.

As our son gets older and a bit more mobile, it's getting to the point where we need to start thinking about childproofing the house.  At first glance, I didn't figure there would be too much to do... put in some plug covers, a gate at the top of the stairs, and perhaps move some stuff a bit higher off the floor.  Coincidentally, we had some friends of ours and their young kids over a couple of weeks ago.  An unintended benefit (I swear, I didn't plan this!) was that the kids (2 and 4) were able to highlight some additional areas of the house that need childproofing (basically, all of them!).

I'm still a bit naive about some of the finer points of raising children, which highlights the fact that it's important to really understand the end users of products you're developing.  If possible, make sure you use the appropriate test subjects (in this case, someone else's children!).  It's also good to test early and test often.  That way, you'll catch poor design decisions and implementation flaws before they are caught by unwitting end-users.  But in the end, how do I know that my friends' kids are representative of the types of trouble my own son will get into?  For starters, I only got two sample points - 2 and 4 year olds.  They were under constant parental supervision.  I have no idea what would have happened if they'd been left to their own devices (though I'm quite certain a painting we have hanging in the living room would have changed colors, for starters).  In other words, how do I know when I'm done verifying that my house is childproof?  Is that even possible? 

Last week I wrote about some presentations and a discussion that took place at the local DV Club luncheon about verification metrics.  I know many of you out there have kids, nieces, nephews, etc.  I'd love to hear suggestions on how I can utilize my verification expertise to ensure my son's safety.  Either that, or perhaps some of you would like to volunteer to bring your children over to help me flush out the kinks from my (cue scary voice) "childproof house of doom"!