Typesafety versus Worse is Better - was Re: Fwd: is there any word processing software for the pdp11?

Eric Smith spacewar at gmail.com
Thu Dec 4 16:58:47 CST 2014

On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM, Mouse <mouse at rodents-montreal.org> wrote:
>>> If you use a language in which buffer overruns can't occur, and will
>>> either trigger exception handling or abort the program, [...]
>>> So if simply by programming in a different language you can
>>> substantially reduce the severity of an entire class of bugs, why
>>> wouldn't you do it?
> That's a question with multiple passably obvious answers, most of which
> amount to "use of that language comes with other, unacceptable, costs".
> Perhaps those costs are performance costs (such languages are usually
> much heavier-weight); perhaps they're programmer time costs (learning a
> new language or working around its deficiencies); perhaps they're
> system redesign costs (maybe the target system has no implementation of
> the language in question); perhaps they're licensing costs (for the
> implementation or perhaps even the language); perhaps lots of things.

Or, most commonly in my opinion, the long-term costs of using a crappy
programming language are simply not considered.

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