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Comment: Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 1) 129

by gweihir (#47578909) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

Oh? And which language implementations do you know that actually have such a proof? For real world languages and implementation, the number is likely "zero" as most languages do not have a formal specification that could be used as starting point in the first place.

And here is one more hint from the real world: Nobody proves compiler correctness using formal methods for real languages, because nobody can pay the huge amount of money that would cost or wait the few decades it would take. Instead there is this thing called "testing".

Comment: Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 1) 129

by gweihir (#47578893) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

BS. A formal specification is needed if you want to use automated theorem proving to prove properties of the language or if you want to generate compilers automatically. For specifying how an implementation works, you need an exact specification, but that can well be (and usually is) an informal one.

Come on people, does nobody know basic CS terms anymore?

Comment: Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 4, Informative) 129

by gweihir (#47578873) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

A formal specification is a specification done in a formal specification language. There is no other meaning of that term. The people claiming they are doing a "formal" specification likely confused this with "exact". These two concepts are orthogonal. A formal specification can be inexact (or even unsound), while an informal specification can be exact (and sound).

A "formal standard" is something else, it usually refers to a more-or-less exact and complete _informal_ specification that is uniquely identified by its designation. The main difference is that in theory, you could check a formal specification for soundness using an automated theorem prover. Or you could automatically generate a compiler from it. An informal (but possibly exact) specification does not allow that, as it needs a human in the loop.

Comment: Hyperbole (Score 1) 195

by gweihir (#47575717) Attached to: "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

For example, my keyboard has exactly 256 Bytes of FLASH storage. And if you put malware in there (which it is too small for), it loses its keymap. So "most" is really "some, and in particular devices modified for this" here. In addition, this attack need to be customized for each specific device, which is expensive. And many devices are not even reprogrammable without circumventing MCU protection bits.

This is mostly a non-issue with regular devices.

Comment: Re:Erlang is overrated crap (Score 1) 309

by gweihir (#47566855) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Sorry, for the person I have this observation from, 1000 was actually on the lower end of what he needed. And yes, that was the right approach to the problem. He then found Java was a toy pretending to be a professional tool.

He ended up using processes and shared memory, which was a lot more complicated but did not suffer from extreme slowdown above a few hundred threads. Erlang would have been a viable alternative.

I also did say that this capability of Erlang was "special purpose". So what do you complain about?

Comment: Re:Functional Programming? (Score 1) 309

by gweihir (#47562557) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

The author really has no clue. He also doe snot understand what static and dynamic typing means and that it is orthogonal to weak and strong typing. Or that whether you have GC or not is not necessarily dependent on the language. You can attach a GC to C and have it working reasonably well.

This article was written by an incompetent wannabe.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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