"Strong typing vs. strong testing"

Keith Thompson kst-u at mib.org
Fri Oct 1 20:44:47 CEST 2010

TheFlyingDutchman <zzbbaadd at aol.com> writes:
> On Sep 30, 10:37 pm, RG <rNOSPA... at flownet.com> wrote:
>> In article <87tyl63cag.... at mail.geddis.org>,
>>  Don Geddis <d... at geddis.org> wrote:
>> > Keith Thompson <ks... at mib.org> wrote on Thu, 30 Sep 2010:
>> > > RG <rNOSPA... at flownet.com> writes:
>> > >> You're missing a lot of context.  I'm not trying to criticize C, just to
>> > >> refute a false claim that was made about it.
>> > > Can you cite the article that made this false claim, and exactly what
>> > > the false claim was?
>> >http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/msg/431925448da59481
>> >         Message-ID:
>> >         <0497e39d-6bd1-429d-a86f-f4c89babe... at u31g2000pru.googlegroups.com>
>> >         From: TheFlyingDutchman <zzbba... at aol.com>
>> >         Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
>> >         [...]
>> >         in C I can have a function maximum(int a, int b) that will always
>> >         work. Never blow up, and never give an invalid answer. If someone
>> >         tries to call it incorrectly it is a compile error.
>> >         [...]

That was slightly overstated.  In fact, you can have such a
function that will always work when called correctly, *unless*
something else has caused the program's behavior to be undefined,
in which case all bets are off.


> Thanks from me as well, Don. I was worried that people would start to
> believe that the original statement was what you said it was:
> "I'm not even saying it's a flaw in the language.  All I'm saying is
> that
> the original claim -- that any error in a C program will be caught by
> the compiler -- is false, and more specifically, that it can be
> demonstrated to be false without appeal to unknown run-time input."

Yes, that would have been an absurd claim if anyone had actually
made it.

Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) kst-u at mib.org  <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
"We must do something.  This is something.  Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"

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