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Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 13 Feb 2001 15:44:57 -0500
text/plain (46 lines)
Ron,
>
> >And of course there was no validation suite for C++, so these design
> >bugs slipped through more easily than they could have with Ada.
> >
>
> Yes, the validation suite.  This is a VERY key point and one that I should
> raise more often.  But it just seems so natural to me that there SHOULD be
> a validation suite, for EVERY language.  So, I tend to not mention it,
> assuming others have the same view.

Really?
>
> Why is our industry so far behind in their view of something so obviously
> beneficial as a compiler validation process?  This confounds me.

Well, we saw Phil Breashear's note about this - no C++ compiler could
pass the validation suite.

Only in Ada do we care seriously about this, and I conjecture that the
culture of caring about it derives from DoD caring so much about it in
the 80s. Now that the culture is entrenched, it's (luckily) hard to
shake it.

Two more ancient-history anecdotes:

(1) In the late 80s, Philippe Kahn, founder and then-CEO of Borland,
was quoted _on the record_ (I don't remember where) that Borland
would never do Ada because he would never subject his products
to someone else's validation suite.

(2) At about the same time, I attended an Ada BoF at SIGCSE. One of
the guys there was an Englishman who worked for BSI (their ANSI) and
said he was responsible for the ISO Pascal validation suite. He said
he respected the Ada community for their serious view of validation,
and that Borland Pascal had failed his suite miserably. And nobody
seemed to care.
>
> sro
>
>
> S. Ron Oliver, semi-retired professor of Computer Science and Computer
> Engineering.  www.csc.calpoly.edu/~sroliver
>
Mike Feldman

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