"Strong typing vs. strong testing"

Seebs usenet-nospam at seebs.net
Thu Sep 30 03:17:53 CEST 2010

On 2010-09-30, RG <rNOSPAMon at flownet.com> wrote:
> That the problem is "elsewhere in the program" ought to be small 
> comfort.

It is, perhaps, but it's also an important technical point:  You CAN write
correct code for such a thing.

> int maximum(int a, int b) { return a > b ? a : b; }

> int main() {
>   long x = 8589934592;
>   printf("Max of %ld and 1 is %d\n", x, maximum(x,1));

You invoked implementation-defined behavior here by calling maximum() with
a value which was outside the range.  The defined behavior is that the
arguments are converted to the given type, namely int.  The conversion
is implementation-defined and could include yielding an implementation-defined
signal which aborts execution.

Again, the maximum() function is 100% correct -- your call of it is incorrect.
You didn't pass it the right sort of data.  That's your problem.

(And no, the lack of a diagnostic doesn't necessarily prove anything; see
the gcc documentation for details of what it does when converting an out
of range value into a signed type, it may well have done exactly what it
is defined to do.)

Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed.  Peter Seebach / usenet-nospam at seebs.net
http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
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