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I am looking for a verb meaning "to make something more robust", especially in a software engineering context.

Is "to robust" correct and understandable? "Robustify" seems to be another candidate but does not seem so common.

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Robust is not an "official" verb. The problem with the adjective in general is that it is not necessarily clear what you mean, and so no clear synonym comes to mind. What exactly is "more robust software"? I hear this used all the time and it can mean software that has more features, fewer bugs, better ability to handle problems that arise — always more of something desirable, but the something is always part of a larger context and not inherent in that single word. –  Robusto Aug 20 '12 at 12:03
    
You might want to provide more information on the context. You could perhaps add an example sentence where you'd like to use this word. –  coleopterist Aug 20 '12 at 12:46
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6 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Neither robustify nor 'to robust' are correct.

You can use 'to make robust' or any of the options Bob noted.

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I think it's worth noting that the phrase "make the code more robust" - in quotes - returns almost 900,000 Google hits. Just my opinion, but I believe "to make robust" is superior to any of Bob's suggestions (I'm not trying to discredit Bob's valiant effort; I simply think that "to make more robust" is the best way of saying this). –  J.R. Aug 21 '12 at 1:41
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I would use "strengthen", "fortify", or "harden", although "harden" has a distinct security meaning.

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Possibly also to ruggedize - although this applies preferably to hardware rather than to software. –  Alain Pannetier Φ Aug 20 '12 at 12:16
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There's no single word to describe making software more robust. Some ways of making software more robust are: simplify, debug, re-factor (especially functional decomposition and code re-use), make the interface more user friendly, make the program resilient to input errors and even recover from some runtime errors, etc.

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bolster: v. Support or strengthen; prop up: "the fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence".

For example, "You will help refactor the code and bolster the test suite."

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  • The closest to "make robust" that I can come up with is:

revitalize

vt

: to give new life or vigor to

  • The second word that comes to mind is:

enhance

vt

: heighten, increase; especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness

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I don't like revitalize as applied to code - nothing says the old code was "moribund." Enhance is the more acceptable of the two, at least in my mind, but there are too many ways to enhance software to always associate enhancing with robustness. –  J.R. Aug 21 '12 at 1:34
    
I agree @J.R. In the first place, I doubted if "robustness" would stick to software. I went with the more general context –  Cool Elf Aug 21 '12 at 5:35
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Sometimes I use to mature when I need a verb, such as in process descriptions.

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