From: Gil Brock <gil(--nospam--at)raptsoftware.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2001 13:29:45 +1000
As a concrete designer/software developer I agree entirely with you Dennis.
Many code formulae are simplifications of the more complex formula which
actually apply, to make them easier for designers to use in hand
calculations. Unfortunately, the simplifications often hide the meaning and
logic of the formula and make it difficult for the designer to understand
where a formula came from or how to apply it to cases outside the norm.
Limiting boundary conditions are quite often used in the simplification of
the formula which severely limit the applicability of the formula but these
are often not defined in the code. So the designer does not even know the
limitations to the formula he is using and he is not given the more complex
formula to apply outside these boundaries anyway.
The last thing a computer program needs is simplified formulae which are
limited in their applicability as the program then has to be constrained in
terms of the the flexibility available to the user. The whole idea of using
computer software to carry out design calculations is that computers can
solve the complex formulae that we do not normally want to attempt by hand
and can therefore give us more accurate answers for a wider range of design
situations than can be provided by the simplified code formulae.