PEP 3107 and stronger typing (note: probably a newbie question)
Thu Jul 12 11:49:47 CEST 2007
Donn Cave <donn at u.washington.edu> writes:
> I've wondered if programmers might differ a lot in how much they
> dread errors, or how they react to different kinds of errors.
> For example, do you feel a pang of remorse when your program
> dies with a traceback - I mean, what a horrible way to die?
I'm reminded of the time I found out that a program I had worked on
had crashed due to a coding bug. It was the control software for an
ATM switch. I had moved on from that job a year or so earlier, but I
found out about the crash because it took out vast swaths of data
communications for the whole US northeast corridor for 2+ days (almost
like the extended power outage of 2003) and it was on the front page
of the New York Times. The first thing I thought of was that a
certain subroutine I had rewritten was the culprit. I got on the
phone with a guy I had worked with to ask what the situation was, and
I was very relieved to find out that the error was in a part of the
code that I hadn't been anywhere near.
That program was a mess of spaghetti C code but even more carefully
written code keeps crashing the same way. It was one of the incidents
that now has me interested in the quest for type-safe languages with
serious optimizing compilers, that will allow us to finally trash
every line of C code currently in existence ;-).
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