Java Failure can Lead to Death

Next time you ‘ll be getting rid of your old technical documents, spend a moment and browse them. You may find some interesting perls there.

I ‘m reading the document called “End-User License Agreement for Microsoft Desktop Operating Systems ” (Windows NT Workstation version 4.0 in particular). The clause number 7 is called “Note on Java Support “, and it states the following (I did not change a single word):

“The software product may contain support for programs written in Java. Java technology is not fault tolerant and is not designed, manufactured, or intended for use or resale as on-line control equipment in hazardous environments requiring fail-safe performance, such as in the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic control, direct life support machines , or weapon systems, in which the failure of Java technology could lead directly to death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage “.

I realize that this masterpiece was created by Microsoft lawyers, but I have a question: can misuse of Visual Basic in exactly the same environment lead directly to death? I guess not, because this document did not have similar clauses for any other programming languages but Java.

This NT 4.0 document was pretty old, but here ‘s the newer one on Microsoft Exchange Server that has the same clause. Way to go, Microsoft!

Apple also writes the same thing (read the last paragraph over here )

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