Re: Open Source Quality

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sun May 09 2004 - 17:41:11 CDT

On May 9, 2004, at 2:58 PM, Douglas W. Jones wrote:
>>> The presence of these errors argues (minimally) for
>>> garbage-collected languages and fulltime array bounds checking to
>>> help a sloppy programmer detect these problems.
>> I.e. Python is the *right* language to write OVC's reference in.
> Well, the same could be said for Java, LISP, Simula 67 and a number of
> other languages. This merely demonstrates that Python is a member of
> a class of relatively safer languages.

Yeah, true. I really just meant in opposition to C/C++ as has been
sometimes suggested for their static typing. Java -does- have some
type safety issues that Python does better with (IMO, but I can cite
support). But Ruby, Perl, and others are in this same "relatively
safe" class as well (though Perl becomes unsafe because nobody can tell
what obscure code does, which is maybe 75% of actual Perl).

> I'll lay odds that most of the hangs detected by the Fuzz test suite
> are indeed infinite loops.

I'd lay odds too. Knowing code, I recognize that such an event is more
likely. But my point is just that you can't really tell from external
black-box testing. You -might- be able to prove this by sideband
analysis of processor EMF emissions or the like, even without the
source code (even as disassembled), but not simply behaviorally.

> O(n log n) time and a few had O(n**2) algorithms, his was at least
> O(n**4). We never did figure out how he'd done this, but part of the
> trick was to do array indexing suing an O(n**2) algorithm to pick the
> n'th item out of a list.

What grade did he get for finding an O(N^4) solution to sorting? :-)

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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:28 2004

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