[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: another take on hackers and painters

At Wed, 21 May 2003 18:02:13 -0400, Dan Sugalski wrote:
> >In fact, lets get rid of all errors in programs. Up with the DWIM
> >instruction! Down with reliability!
> I'm going to take a wild guess here that you're not a big fan of 
> autoconversion...

What gave it away? :) (FWIW, Icon's conversions seem not anywhere near
as horrible as the others that have gone by on the list recently)

Still, the point is larger than auto-conversion. Auto-conversions are
one way to remove potential error checking from a program; I believe
that having more safeguards in the program or programming language is
critical for improving the reliability of software. (in fact, my
dissertation can be summed up as: "here's how to add more errors to
your program" -- of course, it doesn't really add errors, but adds ways
to detect the errors that were already there)

Some will probably say that lightweight languages aren't always about
reliability, but I think that we have to build that stuff in from day 1
-- today's little script is tomorrow's e-business "solution" that real
money rides on. We need languages that can grow with the programs
written in them.