Top 10 bugs in C++ open source projects, checked in 2016

While the world is discussing the 89th Ceremony of Oscar award and charts of actors and costumes, we’ve decided to write a review article about the IT-sphere. The article is going to cover the most interesting bugs, made in open source projects in 2016. This year was remarkable for our tool, as PVS-Studio has become available on Linux OS. The errors we present are hopefully, already fixed, but every reader can see how serious are the errors made by developers.

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Top 10 C# projects errors found in 2016

To measure the efficiency of our analyzer, and also to promote the methodology of static analysis, we regularly analyze open source projects for bugs and write articles about the results. 2016 was no exception. This year is especially important as it is the year of the “growth” of the C# analyzer. PVS-Studio has obtained a large number of new C# diagnostics, an improved virtual values mechanism (symbolic execution) and much more. Based on the results of our teamwork, I compiled a kind of chart of the most interesting bugs, found in various C# projects in 2016.

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The Big Calculator Gone Crazy

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In this article I’m going to discuss a problem few people think of. Computer simulation of various processes becomes more and more widespread. This technology is wonderful because it allows us to save time and materials which would be otherwise spent on senseless chemical, biological, physical and other kinds of experiments. A computer simulation model of a wing section flow may help significantly reduce the number of prototypes to be tested in a real wind tunnel. Numerical experiments are given more and more trust nowadays. However, dazzled by the triumph of computer simulation, nobody notices the problem of software complexity growth behind it. People treat computer and computer programs just as a means to obtain necessary results. I’m worried that very few know and care about the fact that software size growth leads to a non-linear growth of the number of software bugs. It’s dangerous to exploit a computer treating it just as a big calculator. So, that’s what I think – I need to share this idea with other people.

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Cost of an Error: Who Pays for Programming Blunders?

Modern programmers live in a very special period of time, when the software is penetrating into literally all spheres of human life and is installed on a numerous amount of devices that are a part of our every day life. Nobody is surprised by software in the fridges, watches and coffee-machines. However, the dependence of people on the smart technology is also growing. The inevitable consequence: the reliability of the software becomes priority number 1. It’s hard to scare someone with a freaked out coffee-maker, although it can bring a lot of harm (liters of boiling coffee flowing on your white marble countertop…). But the thought of growing requirements for the quality of software is really important, that’s why let’s talk about errors in the code that led to significant waste of time and money.
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The Evil within the Comparison Functions

Perhaps, readers remember my article titled “Last line effect”. It describes a pattern I’ve once noticed: in most cases programmers make an error in the last line of similar text blocks. Now I want to tell you about a new interesting observation. It turns out that programmers tend to make mistakes in functions comparing two objects. This statement looks implausible; however, I’ll show you a great number of examples of errors that may be shocking to a reader. So, here is a new research, it will be quite amusing and scary.

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Stories about Christmas and New Year Bugs

Do you believe in magic? Of course not – it’s just against logic! Programmers are serious-minded and well-educated people of a realistic outlook. Well, you didn’t favor fairy tales as a child either, did you? OK, I’m not going to answer for you. Just please make yourself a cup of tea, peel a tangerine, look at the snowflakes falling outside the window, and only then go on to read this Story.

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The First Bug on Mars

In 1971, the USSR delivered the first planetary rovers on skis to Mars, whose task was to puncture the surface with a rod (housing a dynamic penetrometer and a radiation densitometer) to see if Mars was solid or liquid dusty. The first probe crashed on November 27; the second soft-landed on December 2 but didn’t manage to get out of the “shell” of the lander, so that attempt didn’t count.

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