[Beowulf] Linux quality vs. defects

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Mon May 13 09:30:28 PDT 2013

re "...written in Linux, PHP, and Apache..."'; PHP is a language, but
Apache is a web server (with a development environment) and Linux is an
Operating System (which can be considered as a development environment). So
this seems like comparing apples and oranges. If I write PHP via Apache
running on Linux, as in LAMP, and I have a defect, does it count as PHP, or
Apache, or Linux? or all three, and they are doing correlation analysis?

It's not easy to compare even languages by defect rate (although it's
useful). C++ is easy to mess up, but also it's ubiquitous, many people who
would rather write in something else are stuck with it (ditto Java). Lisp
can be pretty confusing and you can have highway-blindness from the
parentheses, but I bet it has a low defect rate, if only because the only
people who write in it are professionals who choose it as the vernacular
for their application domain (AI).

My bet is that Fortran has the lowest defect rate, because no-where on the
planet is any inexperienced kid being rushed to meet a deadline using


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 11:53 AM, Max R. Dechantsreiter <
max at performancejones.com> wrote:

> Linux Leads in Open Source Quality, but Risky Defects Lurk
> Government Computer News (05/11/13) Paul McCloskey
> Linux topped open source software in quality in a study of the defects
> that occur in the software development process.  For more than seven years,
> Coverity Scan Service analyzed 850 million lines of code from more than 300
> open source projects, including those written in Linux, PHP, and Apache.
>  Using a measure of defects per 1,000 lines of code, the study found that
> Linux consistently recorded defect densities of less than 1.0, with
> versions scanned between 2011 and 2012 having defect rates below 0.7.  The
> study also found that high-risk defects were prevalent in the software
> development process, with 36 percent of defects classified as a "threat to
> overall software quality and security if undetected."  The most common
> high-risk defects included memory corruption, illegal memory access, and
> resource leaks, which the study's report says are "all difficult to detect
> without automated code analysis."  The study also found that the average
> quality of open source software was virtually equal to that of proprietary
> software.
> http://gcn.com/blogs/pulse/**2013/05/linux-leads-in-open-**
> source-quality-but-risky-**defects-lurk.aspx<http://gcn.com/blogs/pulse/2013/05/linux-leads-in-open-source-quality-but-risky-defects-lurk.aspx>
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