[erlang-questions] help with smoker's problem

Ulises <>
Wed Aug 20 15:17:30 CEST 2008


> The field of "formal methods" is where you find all the people who are into
> systematically checking things. There are various people around who have
> done that specifically with Erlang, the two active groups I'm aware of
> are
>
>  http://www.chalmers.se/cse/EN/research/research-groups/formal-methods/
>
> and
>
>  http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~qiang/forse/forse.htm

Good stuff on the formal methods groups. I did a formal methods course
during my undergrad which was quite interesting to say the least.

My question however was somewhat mispelled (I can only blame me for
that though!). I guess I should've asked if there is any documentation
or other kind of info on reading Erlang error messages and the likes
(much like one of the last messages by Brian on the SSH thread). I do
realise that getting the line of code that produced the error might
not be possible to get at all however deciphering the message would
already by a big step ahead. On the getting started document all I
could see was a message along the lines of "the more you read the more
you'll get used to them and the better you'll become at spotting
problems".


>   Thomas Arts once used model checking methods to examine a part of
>   the control system for some hardware I work on. I was completely
>   confident it was bug-free: I wrote it on a day where I turned off
>   my mobile phone and shut the door. And it had a good test
>   suite. And it'd been running in thousands of switches all over the
>   world, in hospitals and in nuclear reactors, for years, and never
>   failed. It's A-grade premium battle-tested code with a gold star.
>
>   Thomas and his model checker found a bug, of course, otherwise
>   I wouldn't have bothered recounting this. My ego was on life support
>   until I managed to show that the bug, like your tobbacco spelling,
>   didn't matter. ;-)

Nice war story!!! :)

Mine would go along the lines of: one day I tried to solve the
smoker's problem in Erlang. I sent the code to the mailing list and a
guy spotted at least 2 bugs and a few undesirable coding habits ...
all in less than 50 lines of code.

Unfortunately my war story doesn't have such a happy ending!!! :D

Best and thanks for the info.

U



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