[Beowulf] A start in Parallel Programming?

Mitchell Wisidagamage 06002352 at brookes.ac.uk
Mon Mar 19 13:19:33 EDT 2007


> C for damn sure isn't "safe".  Neither is assembler.  Very few compilers
> could be called safe in the sense that it is impossible to write buggy
> code that is vulnerable to various exploits or at risk of crashing an
> application, but C is arguably more dangerous than most because with
> pointers and inlined assembler you can do "anything".
> 
> Total power and complete control is never safe.  C is like an M-1 tank
> armed with pocket nukes and with a built in levitation system and
> antimatter propulsion system -- misuse it and you can blow up whole
> worlds, but it can solve lots of problems very quickly.  Safe is a kiddy
> bike with training wheels -- not fast, not powerful, but if you pedal
> long enough you can get where you want to go.
> 
> Unless you get run over by a tank, that is.
> 
>> I can understand why c is considered naughty but isn't it bad 
>> programming (systems development) to blame rather than the flexibility 
>> of the language?
> 
> Absolutely.  With great power comes great responsibility.  Neurosurgery
> is not safe.  Consequently Neurosurgeons require immense amounts of
> training and have to work extremely carefully -- and people still die.
> However, far more of them live!  Putting band-aids on is safe.  However,
> try putting a band-aid on a brain tumor.
> 

Very entertaining explanations. Especially the M-1 tank...

Therefore; absolute safety = language safety x "programmer's safety"

c is being penalized for giving the freedom and power to humans. They 
should consider programmer's safety in IEC 1508.

I had a lecture on "Secure coding" last week and the c was frowned upon 
again for obvious reasons. I think it's narrow minded and gives out the 
wrong message when the programmer is not included in the equation.



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