Talk Details

How JSR 385 could have Saved the Mars Climate Orbiter

Conference
Java Language

In 1999, NASA lost the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter as it went into orbital insertion. Due to a mismatch between US customary and SI units of measurements in one of the APIs, the spacecraft came too close to the planet, passed through the upper atmosphere and disintegrated. Sadly, this hasn’t been the only instance where a mismatch between units of measurements had catastrophic consequences, but it’s certainly one of the most spectacular and expensive ones. How could this happen? The bad news: if you use primitive types to handle quantities in your code, due to the same practice at best, you’ve codified the unit in a variable name or database field, e.g. calling it lengthInMetres. Otherwise, you’re only relying on convention, just like Lockheed Martin and NASA did. Join this talk to learn how JSR 385 can help you avoid $125 million mistakes, how it applies the 2019 redefinition of SI base units, and discover the immeasurable world of dimensions, units and quantities.

Scheduled on Saturday from 15:00 to 15:50 in Room 4

IoT
IoT JSR: Units Of Measurement
JCP
Units Of Measurement
Java

Thodoris Bais

Utrecht Java User Group

Thodoris works as a Scrum Master for ABN Amro bank and contributes to the prosperity of the (software) community in several ways. He is the Founder & Leader of Utrecht Java User Group, which counts more than 2000 members and has hosted exceptional speakers (where among others, James Gosling and Uncle Bob). Besides, he helps new communities in making their first steps. Thodoris Bais serves the Expert Group of JSR-385 and helps developers to grow their career. Previously: 5 years of Software Engineering, 2 years as a Technical Author, Open-source Contributor.