Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jul 2005 19:23 UTC, submitted by Just_A_User
FreeBSD On Tuesday, code-analysis software maker Coverity announced that its automated bug finding tool had analyzed the community-built operating system FreeBSD and flagged 306 potential software flaws, or about one issue for every 4,000 lines of code. The low number of flaws found by the system underscores that FreeBSD's manual auditing by project members has reduced the vulnerabilities in the operating system, said Seth Hallem, CEO of Coverity.
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the shape of things to come
by butters on Tue 19th Jul 2005 20:48 UTC
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Static analysis has become the rule as opposed to the exception. It started with large commericial projects, but the development of world-class static analysis tools has been helped enormously by open source projects. The extent of their use is so significant that the rest of the commericial software development world is following suit to remain competitive.

Microsoft was mentioned in the article, but my job right now is integrating static analysis into IBM's AIX development process. The tool we use is called BEAM (Bugs, Errors, And Mistakes), and yes, I will do my best to convince management to consider open sourcing it. We do use it for developing Linux on POWER as well as for many other C/C++ systems programming applications. My project is to make sure that all source code that gets checked into AIX is "beamed" beforehand, and that all problems are properly resolved.

Open source apps definitely have fewer statically identifiable problems than does proprietary software. Most of the problems we find are edge cases where an uninitialized variable, null dereference, or memory leak can result. Static analysis tools also report lots of false positives. Most commonly these involve passing null pointers to functions that check their parameters properly, malloc-like functions, or functions that exit.

Lint or Splint is available open source, and Coverity offers a free trial or their Prevent software.

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