[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.

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf


More information about the Beowulf mailing list