Computing Canada (CC) “Blogged Down” – interview with Paul Bassett I.S.P. (ret.), Leading Software Engineer and Computer Science Authority; Senior Consultant Cutter Consortium

There's a new editorial feature, Blogged Down (BD), in Computing Canada (CC) which features an upcoming interview that appears here in the Canadian IT Managers forum (CIM). Computing Canada (CC) is the oldest, largest, most influential bi-weekly business/technology print publication with an audience that includes 42,000 IT decision makers in medium-to-large enterprises. For more than 30 years, Computing Canada continues to serve the needs of Canada’s information technology management community—you can request your free subscription at:

This is the sixth interview in the series Blogged Down. The interview is with Paul Bassett, I.S.P. (ret.): leading software engineer and computer science authority; senior consultant, Cutter Consortium.

Index and links to Questions


Paul, what are software engineering's chronic concerns and how can you cure them?


Paul that was an intriguing discussion about Frame Technology, and about why, in spite of independent evidence that it is highly effective, the approach has not spread virally through the software industry. You also mentioned OO a couple of times. I would really like to know how the Frame approach compares to the Object approach. Are they collaborators or competitors?


Those are very provocative claims, Paul. I would like to see you defend them.


I agree, but everyone familiar with OO knows this. Why do you bring it up?


Okay, I'll bite. What is a polymorphic look-alike?


Yes, but is it even possible to avoid a problem that has plagued us since the beginning?


Hmm. I see what you mean and I like what I'm hearing. Are there more fundamental aspects of OO that cause modelling problems?


So, how does FT handle hasa relationships?


But what about the isa relationships? How do frames handle abstractions?


This is interesting. If I heard you right, you are saying there is no double partitioning of information domains, as happens in OO, and that hasa relationships dominate the partitioning. This indeed is very different from the way OO models domains. In addition to avoiding double partitioning, does the hasa-dominated modelling approach offer other advantages?


Earlier you said there were two more fundamental aspects of OO that cause modelling problems, but you've only mentioned one of them: aggregation. What is the other one?


Alright, so how do frames avoid this rather universal problem?


That's a real mouthful! Please expand on what you mean using simpler terms.

Paul’s Profile:

Paul Bassett, has given keynote addresses around the world, and was a member of the IEEE’s Distinguished Visitor Program from 1998 - 2001. He was General Chair for the Symposium on Software Reuse held May 18-20, 2001, held in conjunction with the International Conference on Software Engineering.

Ed Yourdon called Paul's book, Framing Software Reuse: Lessons from the Real World (Prentice Hall, 1997), "the best book about reuse I've seen in my career." DeMarco and Lister republished his 1987 IEEE paper, Frame-based Software Engineering, in their compilation of the 27 most significant papers of that decade. Paul also co-authored the IEEE’s Standard P1517: Software Reuse Lifecycle Processes.

Paul has over 35 years of academic and industrial software engineering experience. He taught computer science at York University for seven years, co-founded Sigmatics Computer Corporation and Netron Inc. (two on-going software engineering companies), and for over twenty years he helped governments and businesses (a partial list: the US and Canadian federal governments, The Hudson’s Bay Co., IBM, Fiserv, TD Bank, Ameritech, Union Gas, Teleglobe Insurance, Noma Industries) to improve their software development tools and techniques. He has a M.Sc. (U. of Toronto Computer Science), and is a CIPS information systems professional (retired). He is currently a senior consultant with the Cutter Consortium .

Paul received the Information Technology Innovation Award from the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) for his invention of frame technology. He later co-chaired their Certification Council, was a member of their Accreditation Council, and now helps to accredit honours programs in computer science and software engineering, as well as chairing the CIPS Committee on Software Engineering Issues.


The first CC Blogged Down interview was with software architect and Microsoft MVP, Roger Sessions appearing here Jan 10, 2006:

The second CC Blogged Down interview appearing  Feb 7, 2006 was with cryptologist and security authority Bruce Schneier:

The third CC Blogged Down interview appearing March 10, 2006 was with senior protocol analyst and security expert, Laura Chappell:

The fourth CC Blogged Down interview appearing March 21st, 2006 was with Trevor Eddolls author, editor, founder and CEO of iTech-Ed ltd.:

The fifth CC Blogged Down interview appearing April 10th, 2006 was with Ben Grebinski, 2005 CC IT Executive of the Year; Superintendent of School Operations, Administrative Services and Technology, Regina Catholic Schools

I also encourage you to share your thoughts here on these interviews or send me an e-mail at

Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P.

Comments (2)

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    There’s a new editorial feature, Blogged Down (BD), in Computing Canada (CC) which features an upcoming…

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