Re: Languages (was Re: Forms support in clients)

Nathaniel Borenstein (
Fri, 30 Sep 1994 02:43:41 +0100

Excerpts from www-talk: 29-Sep-94 Re: Languages (was Re: Form.. "Steven
D. Majewski"@vir (4853*)

> I guess my worry comes down to: can you ever really make the unanticipated
> safe ?

The devil is in the details. That's another reason we don't want lots
of such languages; the more there are, the more likely it is that a
nasty bug/hole will slip through. My level of confidence in Safe-Tcl is
moderately high, and was made higher by the fact that when I first
released it, I immediately got several safe-tcl messages by email that
illustrated (in a kind and harmless way) some nasty bugs in the
interpreter (though not the language spec). I haven't gotten any of
these in a while, which makes me more confident. The greatest
confidence in this area will come from knowing that lots of clever
people have tried to break it and failed. The more such languages we
have, the more the hackers will have to divide their attention and the
more likely they are to miss out on important bugs.

By the way, object-oriented extensions to Safe-Tcl are definitely on the
drawing boards.... -- Nathaniel