On 2/2/2013 11:52 PM, David Bailey wrote: > On 02/02/2013 06:15, Richard Fateman wrote: > >>>> (RJF) If I were using a computer to do something that required correct answers >>>> for, say, life safety, like building a bridge, I would follow WRI's >>>> advice and not use Mathematica. >>> > > I'd love to know what software you would use, if you wanted to do a > complex calculation of the type we are talking about. What software > would meet your standards?
Here are some thoughts, though of course "proving" the correctness of anything, whether a program or a proof of a theorem continues to be an area for research. I'd feel better about using software which had these characteristics:
1. A formal rigorous definition of syntax and semantics. 2. More than one implementation, perhaps one that is open source. 3. Widely available and widely used by top practitioners of (for instance) scientific numerical computation. 4. Perhaps standardized by a committee responsive to the rigors of ANSI or IEEE. 5. Excellent error checking, debugging, profiling tools.