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Re: MaxBeam, MaxQuake, MaxWind

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>We need to control the improper use of structural engineering programs at 
>the building department level rather than restricting sales.
Jeez, Louise, I'm in a helluva fix. First Yank tells the list I'm a 
Communist dupe, now Dennis implies I'm anti-bidness. Next thing they'll 
be hailing me in front of a resurrected HUAC so I'll rat on someone. And 
Robert Welch is too dead to defend me. ;-> 

You're right, of course, we can't license people to buy software or 
crunch. Like I've always said, the real issue is qualification to 
practice. I don't care much who uses software, but I really do care that 
a person who uses software in the practice of engineering knows what the 
hell he's doing. 

All the squabbling over titles sounds like piglets squealing about taking 
hind tit. The measure of a practitioner is fitness to practice, which is 
determined only to a small degree by the initials on the ticket. This 
isn't the job of the inspections department--it's the job of the 
engineering board. 

I can't feel sorry for anyone who thinks he's been snookered by an 
architect or some other discipline and then doesn't report the conduct to 
the engineering board. If the offender is provably unfit to practice 
there should be no trouble enjoining against further practice. I just got 
my Florida Board newsletter, and it's chock full of disciplinary actions 
against the unqualified or unethical.

As far as bugs are concerned, I'll stick to my guns. The best defense 
against bad software is knowledge of first principles. I doubt there will 
ever be a bug-free engineering program, only proper cross-checking can 
determine whether the computations are correct. A couple of liability 
suits contesting whether the error disclaimer notices are actually 
violations of merchantability requirements might help get someone's 
attention, but I guess that'll have to wait 'til someone gets killed. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)