26 Oct 2011 chalst   » (Master)

C migration strategy
wingo asked, after summarising the safety issues with C:

I still write C. I work on implementations of safe languages -- languages that don't have the same kinds of fundamental vulnerabilities that C and C++ have. Eventually the amount of C in the world will stop growing, and decline as pieces that are now written in C will be written in Python, in JavaScript, in Guile: in short, in languages that don't launch the missiles when you try to write beyond the end of an array.

C has had a great run; we should celebrate it. But its time has passed. What is your migration strategy? How are you going to stop writing C?


I think the most conservative strategy is the best. I was impressed by Cyclone. I'm not sure the language is quite right for the job, and development seems to have halted some time back, but there have been alternatives proposed. I think Cyclone has shown that C can be modestly extended in such a way that we can statically for absence of undefined behaviours and many other desirable safety and correctness properties without nuisance or violation of the spirit of C. I hope that an obviously right safeness extension to C gets proposed and acquires momentum.

I actually had a dream about this, where I was reading a paper about an extension to Lua that allowed Cyclone+Lua programs to have whole-system correctness guarantees. I don't often remember my dreams, funnily enough.

Latest blog entries     Older blog entries

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!