[prog] [C] strings bug

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Sat Apr 12 02:05:42 EST 2003

> This brings up an interesting issue.  How did the software engineering
> profession get into a state where broken tools are an accepted condition
> of everyday life?  I've worked with many people who use broken tools and

I disagree with the implicit premise, which is that at some point in the
past it wasn't in this state.  The first computers were one-offs, and
everyone expected that programs would be nonportable... then came
FORTRAN I, which was basically structured assembly language, and that
meant different machines shared a basic structure for programs which
programmers could adapt to quickly... etc., etc.  But those languages
weren't meant for portability, because nobody even had portability as a
concern back in the '50s.

I think that as the field becomes more mature we'll see more
crossplatform code, more virtual machines/execution environments, etc. 
Which will, hopefully, make it easier to have portable code.

It's taken VMs long enough to catch on--we've had them since the 1950s
in LISP 1.5, and the UCSD Pascal VM was plenty usable in the mid-70s.

Robert J. Hansen <rjh at sixdemonbag.org>

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