Software bugs can lead not only to material losses, but also can damage human’s health. For example, actors on the stage of a theatre can get injured if suddenly one of the scenery begins to go down on the stage at the wrong time. However, the connection between the errors in code and the health damage of medical software is more obvious. Let’s talk about this topic.
Many of you have heard about one of the oldest programming languages, COBOL, and you have also heard that COBOL programmers are much asked for nowadays to maintain old legacy code. There’s another old-timer which few know about and which is still in use and will be in use for quite a while for applications in various specific fields (i.e. finance, banking, etc.). Its name is IBM RPG.
Every developer knows about a debugger, version control system or, for example, unit-tests. Nevertheless, not all developers are familiar with the methodology of static code analysis. Meanwhile, the technology becomes an integral part of the development cycle of programs. I would like to suggest a small introductory course for anyone interested in modern development trends.
Dr. Stark O. Verflo, M.D.
The patient has a broken leg.
This is how this statement looks in discussions on forums (this is a collective image):
I’ve written a special program, its size is 100 code lines. But the analyzer doesn’t generate anything although all the warning levels are enabled. This [tool of yours] / [static analysis] in general is just rubbish.
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No, they don’t. They actually want to solve some tasks of searching for particular language constructs. It is not the same thing as creating diagnostic rules.
The statement is rather strange. Dynamic and static analyses are just two different methodologies which supplement each other. Programmers seem to understand it, but I hear it again and again that dynamic analysis is better than static analysis.
Let me list advantages of static code analysis.
Today we will talk about the second myth about static analysis.
While communicating with people on forums, I noticed there are a few lasting misconceptions concerning the static analysis methodology. I decided to write a series of brief articles where I want to show you the real state of things.