[Haskell-cafe] Knight Capital debacle and software correctness

Ketil Malde ketil at malde.org
Sat Aug 4 12:06:50 CEST 2012

"Vasili I. Galchin" <vigalchin at gmail.com> writes:

>     I am going to make an assumption .... except for Jane Street
> Capital all/most "Wall Street" software is written in an imperative
> language.

Tsuru Captial and Standard Chartered are also known to hire functional

>     Assuming this why is Wall Street not awaken to the dangers.

As an explanation, this is a bit simplistic, I think. But I think the
reason these companies are willing to use experimental technology (as
Haskell is considered to be in industry), is that the consequences of
error can be so high.  For most mainstream software, users have been
trained to accept unreliability, and/or are not willing to pay the

Other examples of expensive software faults is the Ariane 5 launch and
the Sleipner A oil rig (that collapsed and sunk when in tow due to a mistake
in FEA strength calculations).

The space (and defense) industry have a long history of working towards
software security, but I think they have focused more on the software
process than on technology - ADA notwithstanding.  And probably rightly
so, even though technology can help you write correct code, there is
still plenty of rope.

If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants

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