[MUD-Dev] Re: TECH: reliablity (was: Distributed Muds)

Alex fletchra at qsilver.queensu.ca
Tue May 1 08:23:37 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

On Mon, 30 Apr 2001, Derek Snider wrote:
> I know how to write clean bug-free code.

There was an interesting debate about this on comp.security.unix last
week.  I won't rehash it here, but suffice to say, the general feel
was that one or two people claimed that they could write bug-free code
and had scripts/programs/etc that would find any bugs that they
happened to write when sleepy.  The rest questioned this and asked for
the programs so that they could help everyone.  The 'bug-free' people
seem to have since vanished.

Just a little side note that came to mind as I was reading your mail.

> I haven't used Purity personally (because I don't develop under
> Solaris) but I've had programmers with access to it check the SMAUG
> code, and it never found the errors that had to be found by hand.

I've used Purify on the VieMud code (it choked rather catastrophically
on the stock DikuMud code), and managed to actually find 6-7 small
memory leaks that I had never noticed previously.  Little leaks that
only leaked a few bytes here and there, but it explained why our
memory image had been slowly growing, even if nobody was online.

It also found a few out of bounds reads that were on pieces of code
that did not check on errors and whatnot.  As a whole, I would not say
that Purify debugged my code at all, but rather, I learned a number of
ways to protect myself in the future from such errors so that these
situations (hopefully) wouldn't arise again.


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