[Haskell-cafe] Re: Stone age programming for space age hardware?

Michael Schuerig michael at schuerig.de
Tue Jun 8 15:42:32 EDT 2010

On Tuesday 08 June 2010, Hans van Thiel wrote:
> Now, what Gerard Holzmann told me in the interview, is that NASA is
> very conservative in it's use of software tools. They don't use C++,
> just C, and a well defined version of the GNU C compiler at that.
> The coding standards, which even prohibit the use of C pointers, are
> aimed to keep everything as simple as possible. Just imagine
> hundreds of people working over many years to produce code where any
> error, how trivial it may be, will occur millions of miles away,
> cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and could damage the
> reputation of the company and its future funding.

Perhaps it's just my lack of imagination that was driving my original 
question. I'm just having a hard time imagining how to write reasonably 
interesting algorithms that way.

As I wrote, they might "cheat". It's entirely possible to implement 
dynamic memory on top of fixed-size arrays and use indexes instead of 
pointers. Of course, I have no idea if that's what they do.


Michael Schuerig
mailto:michael at schuerig.de

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