On 3/7/06, Ben Chelf <ben@coverity.com> wrote:
Putting on my idealistic hat and remembering back my grad school days, I
think we're on to something very new in the world of source code
analysis. I really just want every developer to use source code analysis
while they write code (remember, idealistic :)). We got a lot of the
good publicity in the research lab because there existed this big open
source OS that we could test our theories on. So from that angle, I
think it makes sense for Coverity to have a strong relationship with the
open source community since that community has been helping us pretty
much since day 1. This project is just the next step in that...it's
certainly not the last.

There's plenty more to do to target every developer.

Well, as long as we're talking idealistically, I wonder how easy it would be to add reference-counting tracking to Coverity Prevent. Python, Perl and (I believe) PHP all have their own kind of refcounting, but the base semantics are pretty much the same: a function can return a new or a borrowed reference, and it can borrow or steal references passed to it. Without having seen how Prevent works, it feels to me like it would be a small addition to keep track of these application-specific details. Or, perhaps more generic, add a few markers to keep track of them; in Python, you'd only have to mark Py_INCREF and Py_DECREF, and possibly manual fidgeting with an objects' refcount (which is hopefully extremely rare.)

I say 'idealistically', though, because I don't know how much business sense it makes to cater to refcounting mechanisms.

Thomas Wouters < thomas@python.org>

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