If you have ever debated the relative merits of an operating system, a programming language, or even a text editor, you will immediately appreciate the difficulties that arise when trying to assess and communicate about software quality. Software has many ‘qualities’, some of which are easy to assess (e.g. cost or ease by which it is installed), whereas others lie within the eye of the beholder (e.g. the aesthetics of a user interface). Different users can also priorities these qualities in different ways, can have very different expectations, and can easily come up with contradictory assessments.
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