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Very senior embedded real-time systems programmer (Texas law is very picky about the use of the term "engineer"), unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Congress, and unreconstructed Cold Warrior.

Apr
22
comment Is it possible to reach absolute zero bug state for large scale software?
I will stipulate that typical programmers, using the programming languages and tools that are common today, quite possibly are incapable of producing bug-free code. This is a comment on those programmers and on those languages and tools.
Apr
22
comment Is it possible to reach absolute zero bug state for large scale software?
You have a choice. Either you believe that bug-free code is impossible, or you believe that it is possible. Prior to the message flow modulator delivery, it was widely believed that bug-free code, at ANY size, was impossible. IEFBR14 was widely cited as proof of that assertion. The flip side is this: once a SMALL bug-free program has been delivered, it is now proven that bug-free code is POSSIBLE, and the question becomes how to extend that work to do LARGE bug-free systems.
Apr
21
comment Is it possible to reach absolute zero bug state for large scale software?
Correction: Bug-free software, COMPLETE WITH FORMAL MATHEMATICAL PROOF OF CORRECTNESS, has been achieved. It was done in 1982. Google "message flow modulator".
Apr
21
comment Is it possible to reach absolute zero bug state for large scale software?
-1 for not knowing that bug-free software HAS been achieved, and insisting that it is impossible. Google "message flow modulator".
Apr
18
comment Using industrial earmuffs while programming to filter out talking
@kol: Before you go the custom-molded plugs route, try the generic foam 28-29 dB plugs. They're a lot cheaper than custom plugs, and they'll probably do the job well enough.
Apr
18
answered Using industrial earmuffs while programming to filter out talking
Apr
17
comment Recursion or while loops
The year is 2013 AD. Tail call and tail recursion optimization are routine for compilers these days. Even compilers for TINY machines (PIC, AVR) do tail call optimization. The PowerPC compiler I was using at Nortel Networks in 2001 did tail recursion optimization. (I got curious one day, did a simple test program, and looked at the generated code.)
Apr
15
answered Resources for improving your comprehension of recursion?
Apr
15
comment What standard superseded 830-1998?
It should be noted that IEEE standards are NOT FREE, as in speech OR as in beer. I can't tell you how much they charge, as the new corporate firewall does not allow their Buy page to work.
Apr
15
awarded  Necromancer
Apr
12
answered Bug once in a while, but high priority
Apr
10
comment Why no fortran standard library?
@MartinBeckett: This was long before NAG.
Apr
8
comment Where can I find articles on why interruptions are bad for programmers?
Captain Obvious feels that it is necessary to point out that good managers already know this and bad managers won't ever learn.
Apr
7
comment Can I convert ALL CAPS sections of an OSI license to regular case (and bold)?
+1 for "Don't mess with it."
Apr
3
comment UDP order of packets with direct connection
Read all of the other answers, that talk about buffering strategies. Imagine for a moment that system A's protocol stack implements Shortest Packet First scheduling, rather than First Come First Served scheduling. Imagine that the test process emits a very long packet, followed by a very short one. If something causes the long packet not to be transmitted immediately, then A's stack will see the short packet as well, and will, in accordance with its scheduling policy, send it first, and hold the long packet. B will the receive the packets in reverse order.
Apr
3
comment UDP order of packets with direct connection
-1. The question was not "Is it likely?" The question was "Is it possible?" To paraphrase Dijkstra in this context, testing can only be used to show that packets CAN be dropped or arrive out of order, not that they will NEVER be dropped and NEVER arrive out of order.
Apr
1
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
1
answered Changing the license in a fork from GPL to GPL compatible?
Mar
30
answered What features contributed to the evolution of Pascal?
Mar
30
answered How are effort estimations and duration estimations distinct?