strangest systems I've sent email from

Liam Proven lproven at
Fri May 20 11:03:14 CDT 2016

On 29 April 2016 at 19:49, Mouse <mouse at> wrote:
>>> True, but again, *you shouldn't have to*. It means programmer
>>> effort, brain power, is being wasted on thinking about being safe
>>> instead of spent on writing better programs.
> True, but...
>> One side effect of this is that it makes a lot of C programmers
>> pedants.
> ...this is also true, and it means the development of a mindset that's
> better equipped to catch higher-level mistakes as well as the low-level
> mistakes.

My points are:

* not everyone is _able_ to develop that mindset.
* some (many) that cannot, think that they can.
* humans are fallible.
* modern codebases are _vast_ and hugely complex -- to big for any
individual to absorb & comprehend.

> It's true that C is easy to use unsafely.  However, (a) it arose as an
> OS implementation language, for which some level of unsafeness is
> necessary, and (b) to paraphrase a famous remark about Unix, I suspect
> it is not possible to eliminate the ability to do stupid things in C
> without also eliminating the ability to do some clever things in C.

I think that the key thing is not to offer people alternatives that
make it safer at the cost of removal of the clever stuff. It's to
offer other clever stuff instead. C is famously unreadable, and yet
most modern languages ape its syntax.

> Of course, the question is not whether C has flaws.  The question is
> why it's still being used despite those flaws.  The answer, I suspect,
> is what someone said about it being good enough.

"Worse is better."

>> My value system doesn't jive with smart phones.
> I would have no problem with them if they were documented.  But I've
> yet to find one that is.  I worked on a project writing code for a new
> Android phone, once, and even as developers we had to use binary blob
> drivers for important pieces.  (It also taught me how horrible the
> Android build system is.)
> Mind you, if/when I find one that _is_ documented....

There _are_ FOSS offerings. The Jolla Sailfish devices, for instance.

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