[TUHS] Bugs in V6 'dcheck'

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Sat May 31 23:30:51 AEST 2014

Noel Chiappa:

  To me, it's completely amazing to find such a serious bug in such a critical
  piece of widely-distributd code! A lesson for archaeologists...


To me it's not surprising at all.

On one hand, current examples of widely-distributed critical
code containing serious flaws are legion.  What, after all,
were the Heartbleed and OS X goto fail; bugs?  What is every
version of Internet Explorer?

On the other hand, Ken and Dennis and the other guys behind
the earliest UNIX code were smart guys and good programmers,
but they were far from perfect; and back in those days we
were all a lot sloppier.

So surprising?  No.  Interesting?  Certainly.  All bugs are

(To me, anyway.  Back in the 1980s, when I was at Bell Labs,
SP&E published a paper by Don Knuth discussing all the many
bugs found in TeX, including some statistical analysis.  I
thought it fascinating and revealing and think reading it
made me a better programmer.  Rob Pike thought it was terribly
boring and shouldn't have been published.  Decidedly different

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

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