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3.3 Topics on Software Evolution

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Saraiva, Antonio Mauro, André Riyuti Hirakawa, and Carlos Eduardo Cugnasca. 2006. Section 3.3 Topics on Software Evolution, pp. 139-153 of Chapter 3 Methods, Algorithms, and Software, in CIGR Handbook of Agricultural Engineering Volume VI Information Technology. Edited by CIGR--The International Commission of Agricultural Engineering; Volume Editor, Axel Munack. St. Joseph, Michigan, USA: ASABE.  .(doi:10.13031/2013.21670)
Authors:   A. M. Saraiva, A. R. Hirakawa, and C. E. Cugnasca
Keywords:   Object-orientation, Open software, Operating system, Software modeling, Visual programming tools, UML, XML

Computer systems evolved beyond what could be anticipated decades ago. Although hardware evolution was basic to that process, maybe the software evolution is the most visible part to the user. What is not visible to the user are, in many cases, the changes that occurred in software development processes, software paradigms, and technologies that support the industry now present in our daily life. To mention only the most visible part, at the basic level the operating systems have changed from command-oriented to graphical systems. Computers or microprocessorbased systems have also invaded different objects from microwave ovens to agricultural tractors. Specific operating systems had to be developed for them, as well as for other novel handheld devices as cellular phones, palmtops, and games. Software cost became more critical compared to hardware. The systems that are now being developed are more complex. Consequently, new approaches, methodologies, paradigms, languages, technologies, and tools for software development have been required. The software industry is now a multi-billion-dollar market shared by big companies and free software communities. Entire books cover those subjects so only a brief overview of some selected aspects is presented here.

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