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Useful libraries in ISO C

 
 
Richard Tobin
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      09-21-2005
In article <1kC$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Chris Hills <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>It also has fitness for purpose. It means that the tool producer is
>taking some of the liability.


Has a compiler producer ever been successfully sued for a bug in the
compiler?

Given the number of companies who use gcc, I think your objection is
purely theoretical.

-- Richard
 
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Chris Hills
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      09-21-2005
In article <dgr87d$29rd$(E-Mail Removed)>, Richard Tobin
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>In article <1kC$(E-Mail Removed)>,
>Chris Hills <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>It also has fitness for purpose. It means that the tool producer is
>>taking some of the liability.

>
>Has a compiler producer ever been successfully sued for a bug in the
>compiler?


No idea. I would expect this would have been settled out of court long
before it hit the news if it has.

>Given the number of companies who use gcc, I think your objection is
>purely theoretical.


IANAL
At the moment possibly only theoretical. However the game is changing.
Engineers are being licensed (world wide) and there are changes to the
corporate manslaughter act. (UK that I know of)

The problem is that the laws are going to relate to accidents that
happen after the law comes in. That means the actual development may
have been done some time before.

It only needs one successful prosecution because one well meaning idiot
modified the compiler and did insufficient testing of the system so a
bug slipped though and caused an accident. The system will cause the
accident but the lawyers will look at the development process and the
tools. If the programer is using free tools that he modified (and did
not fully test with an "industry standard" test suite etc) they will
jump on it.

This could be anywhere in the world under any jurisdiction.

As lawyers go for easy targets it will be a small company or contractor
who gets hit. The lawyers may not care that the don't make any money of
a small case suing a one man company because if it sets a precedent they
will make a fortune on the other cases that will come up.

It is the same as any other industry. Liability, "proper" tools,
professional process. With more and more software being safety and
mission critical it is only a matter of time.

There is much you ca do to guard against these problems, use version
control, proper specs, static analysis, test plans basically show due
diligence.



--
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
/\/\/ http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) www.phaedsys.org \/\/\
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Joe Wright
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      09-22-2005
Chris Hills wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Joe Wright
> <(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>
>>Chris Hills wrote:
>>

[ Too much snippage I fear ]
I said;
>>>>That's the beauty of GNU, you don't need the guarantee.
>>>
>>>why not ?
>>>

>>
>>Because you have the sources. If the GNU code is not sufficiently ISO
>>for you, you can modify it to taste. That's the whole point.

>
>
> and you are completely liable for all of it....
>
> I have done support for a compiler and 19 times out of 20 when a
> "compiler bug" was found it turned out the compiler was correct and the
> person who found the bug was wrong. SO 19 out of 20 "fixes" will in fact
> make things worse.
>
>
>>A guarantee promises your money back or something if not satisfied.

>
>
> IANAL
> It also has fitness for purpose. It means that the tool producer is
> taking some of the liability. When you use open source YOU are taking
> the responsibility (and the liability). I f you ship something that has
> a bug that causes an accident they will send the lawyer to you....
>
> If you "saved money" by using open source YOU will have to prove how
> you tested it was fit for purpose etc.
>
> With a commercial tool you buy where you can't edit the source you have
> reasonable grounds to expect it will work as advertised.
>
> Like it or not you are in the software business and it is a business
> like any other. Liability and responsibility for things still applies
>
> IF a surgeon used "open source" and home made equipment in the OR and
> it went wrong you would scream blue murder. If he used commercial
> equipment from a medical equipment company and it went wrong you would
> go after that company.
>
> Commercial tools are (usually) well tested and checked. Often certified
> etc. SO unless you are going to test and certify the actual Open source
> system you are using you are asking for trouble.
>


Chris,

I was addressing 'guarantee' and now you 'liability' as regards Open
Source Software (OSS). IANAL either but if you were to offer me a piece
of software as free and open, and I accept it, great. As I didn't pay
for it, the idea of guarantee is meaningless (Double your money back?).

If you disclaim any merchantability or fitness for use for this software
of yours, which I got for nothing, how can I possibly hold you liable
when the program, trying to kill a process, actually kills my cat?

Do you use the gcc stuff? I do. It's OSS. It's free. It doesn't have a
guarantee. There is nobody to sue if your program doesn't work right.

When was the last time Microsoft, Oracle, or any software company paid
off on a liability suit on poor software? When?

--
Joe Wright
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
--- Albert Einstein ---
 
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Sensei
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      09-22-2005
Thanks to everyone who helped me!

--
Sensei <(E-Mail Removed)>

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its
limits. (A. Einstein)

 
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