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Posted: Monday, June 27, 2016 9:47:57 AM
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Software entropy


A work on software engineering by Ivar Jacobson et al. [1] describes software entropy as follows:
The second law of thermodynamics, in principle, states that a closed system's disorder cannot be reduced, it can only remain unchanged or increased. A measure of this disorder is entropy. This law also seems plausible for software systems; as a system is modified, its disorder, or entropy, always increases. This is known as software entropy.Within software development, there are similar theories; see Lehman (1985),[2] who suggested a number of laws, of which two were, basically, as follows:1.A computer program that is used will be modified
2.When a program is modified, its complexity will increase, provided that one does not actively work against this.

Andrew Hunt and David Thomas use Fixing Broken Windows as a metaphor for avoiding software entropy in software development.[3]

The process of code refactoring can result in stepwise reductions in software entropy.

Software entropy is increased[clarification needed] with accumulation of technical debt.

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