Archive for June 2023

The “NATO expansion” canard

Are you not tired, too, of those endlessly repeated arguments that, sure, it was not very polite of Putin to invade Ukraine, but you have to understand the situation, it’s all the fault of NATO’s aggressive westward expansion which, you know, was provoking the Russians!

You see this argument everywhere on social networks and also from people such as the former French prime minister Jospin (in March of 2022!). Plus of course Noam Chomsky, for whom there is no atrocity committed by a dictator anywhere that cannot be justified by some real or imagined American turpitude. (Evidence that (1) a great scientist is not immune to shameful delusions and (2) Chomsky, the kind of person who would not last two weeks in one of the regimes he praises, is really fortunate that his family landed in a country where he can safely spew out whatever theory he likes, however outrageous.) Most recently in an opinion piece of the New York Times.

Come on. NATO is a defensive alliance. It has no offensive designs on any part of the world. It does not gobble up any countries: its members all decided to join NATO for their own security.

As to the supposed provocation: if I have an aggressive neighbor with attack dogs and my other neighbors have built a fence to shield themselves from him, am I “provoking” him if I ask them to extend the fence to encompass my house?

It is obvious to all who is aggressive and who is aggressed. Shame on those who insinuate otherwise.

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New article: scenarios versus OO requirements

Maria Naumcheva, Sophie Ebersold, Alexandr Naumchev, Jean-Michel Bruel, Florian Galinier and Bertrand Meyer: Object-Oriented Requirements: a Unified Framework for Specifications, Scenarios and Tests, in JOT (Journal of Object Technology), vol. 22, no. 1, pages 1:1-19, 2023. Available here with link to PDF  (the journal is open-access).

From the abstract:

A paradox of requirements specifications as dominantly practiced in the industry is that they often claim to be object-oriented (OO) but largely rely on procedural (non-OO) techniques. Use cases and user stories describe functional flows, not object types.

To gain the benefits provided by object technology (such as extendibility, reusability, and reliability), requirements should instead take advantage of the same data abstraction concepts – classes, inheritance, information hiding – as OO design and OO programs.

Many people find use cases and user stories appealing because of the simplicity and practicality of the concepts. Can we reconcile requirements with object-oriented principles and get the best of both worlds?

This article proposes a unified framework. It shows that the concept of class is general enough to describe not only “object” in a narrow sense but also scenarios such as use cases and user stories and other important artifacts such as test cases and oracles. Having a single framework opens the way to requirements that enjoy the benefits of both approaches: like use cases and user stories, they reflect the practical views of stakeholders; like object-oriented requirements, they lend themselves to evolution and reuse.

The article builds in part on material from chapter 7 of my requirements book (Handbook of Requirements and Business Analysis, Springer).

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