Re: Revisiting: RE: Certifiable code

From: Edward Cherlin <cherlin_at_pacbell_dot_net>
Date: Wed Sep 01 2004 - 14:32:35 CDT

On Wednesday 01 September 2004 09:48 am, Karl Auerbach wrote:
> My question kinda got tangential answers. So let me try again
> with more pure question:
> Can we write code in Python that not only passes regulatory
> certification but also could pass a more rigerous level (a
> level that would give most of us here reasonable, although not
> absolute, confidence in the code) of certification?

In principle, certainly. Then there are the minor engineering

o Python is under GPL, so we can check the source code.

o We can define a subset of Python that is verifiable and safe
(no mucking about inside the system), and we can get
verification tools from various sources. We could even build a
subset compiler that would accept only our subset.

o However, I don't think we can check all of the libraries we
have to rely on.

There are other languages that can be proposed, but in every case
we have the library issue.

Anyway, I am saying that we can achieve much higher confidence,
but not complete confidence. We have to have the paper ballot
and other security measures to get close to tthat.

> I like Python and want it to be one of, if not the, language
> of choice for our code. However, I have worked enough with
> Python to know that if one starts tinkering in its deeper
> world, the world where names have leading and trailing
> underscores, that myserious code is very possible.
> So I'm wondering whether one can limit the ways in which
> Python is used so that it becomes more certifiable.

I'm sure we can.

> --karl--

Edward Cherlin
Generalist & activist--Linux, languages, literacy and more
"A knot! Oh, do let me help to undo it!"
--Alice in Wonderland
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Received on Thu Sep 30 23:17:01 2004

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