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Safer C: Developing Software for High-Integrity and Safety-Critical Systems (McGraw-Hill International Series in Software Engineering) Paperback – 1 Dec 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (1 Dec 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0077076400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0077076405
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.7 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 682,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

C developers in safety-related or high-integrity environments.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Greenwood on 1 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
Up front I have to declare an interest in this book since I reviewed some of the chapters for the author at the galley proof stage.

As another reviewer has said, some (mostly Ada) programmers regard the title as an oxymoron - but it is not. For there is not, never has been and never will be a programming language in which it is at all difficult to write incorrect programs. If you use C carefully and with the right checking tools (QAC and Polyspace) you can, with diligence, achieve a degree of verifiability comparable to what is possible using SPARK Ada with the SPARK Examiner. (And I speak as one who has been a consultant to a project using both SPARK Ada and C on a major air traffic control application).

The essence of high-integrity programming is to restrict the use of the programming language to render source code tractable to verification with appropriate tools. C needs tighter restriction in this respect than Ada (in fact it needs draconian restriction) but if you are prepared to exercise the necessary discipline and use the right tools, you can use C up to SIL4 quite safely. In this book Les Hatton, describes the rationale for the kinds of restriction that must be imposed on the use of C for high-integrity work. As another reviewer has also noted, the underlying principles apply to *any* programming language.

C is now widely used in high-integrity applications. For many such applications in embedded environments, no suitable Ada implementations may be available and C is, albeit sometimes "faute de mieux", the language of choice. If you are doing serious high-integrity work in C, you should read, mark learn and inwardly digest this book. It is an eye-opener for those who (think they) know C.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Smith on 17 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
Well detailed book which provides food for thought. It could benefit with being updated, as this edition was published in 1995. This applies most to the comparison of C with C++ and Ada 95, which were not standardised then. I would also like to see discussion of common safe subsets, such as MISRA C and SPARK Ada (See the author's own website).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you use a modern compiler and some form of static analysis on your code then this book is of little use. And if you are working in the fields mentioned in the title, you should be using the tools!

However, it is useful for people working in other areas as it is always desirable to write the best (and most unambiguous) code as possible.

Is it the best of it's type? No : I read "Code Complete" by Steve McConnel annually to keep me on the straight and narrow!

Had I noticed the publishing date, I would not have ordered it.
When it was published it would have been a 5* book. Now it is rather dated as the 'C' language has progress considerably and cleaned up a lot of the ambiguity in its specification (which the book covers in detail).
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