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July 5, 1998


C Guidelines Recommend Ada
for Software Reliability

by Phil Thornley

The (UK) Motor Industry Software Reliability Association (MISRA) has just published a document:

"Guidelines For The Use Of The C Language In Vehicle Based Software"

The flyer for the document says that "These guidelines primarily identify those aspects of the C language which should be avoided in safety-related systems..."

In Section 1.3 of the document, entitled "The use of C for safety-related systems" it says:

[arguments for using a restricted subset of C.] "Nonetheless, it should be recognised that there are other languages available which are in general better suited to safety-related systems, having (for example) fewer insecurities and better type checking. Examples of languages generally recognised to be more suitable than C are Ada and Modula 2. If such languages could be available for a proposed system then their use should be seriously considered in preference to C."

People who understand the issues (and the C language) say that the guidelines are very good -- copies cost UKP25. MISRA can be contacted on:

     web site:

     tel:       +44 (0)1203 355430
     fax:       +44 (0)1023 355486

Do you know about official recommendations for Ada?


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Page last modified: 1998-07-05