Scott Meyers wants to bring default zero-initialization to C++, mentions TDPL for precedent

Joakim via Digitalmars-d digitalmars-d at
Mon Nov 23 22:31:15 PST 2015

On Wednesday, 18 November 2015 at 15:12:27 UTC, Joakim wrote:
> He advocates for a tool like gofix, to automatically convert 
> such features to be deprecated:
> Good to see C++ finally trying to deprecate more, long overdue.

Also found this comment from Scott when reading the comments just 

"If C++ were to adopt zero-initialization by default, I'd expect 
a provision for opting out in every context where the current 
language doesn't require initialization (e.g., arrays, heap 
objects without constructors, etc.). What the opt-out syntax 
would be for the various contexts, I don't know, though the first 
place I'd look would be D to see what it does."

Good to see D influencing C++ development.

I thought this anonymous comment about his pacemaker example was 

"I surely hope you are talking about the programmer device for 
pacemakers and not the actual pacemaker inside someone's body. I 
worked for Intermedics until we got bought by Guidant on Monday 
and shut down on Tuesday. We had a project at that time that was 
being written in C++ and it was likely the compiler did not even 
have a standard year attached. I was never comfortable with that 
project given the really ugly tendencies of both compilers and 
software engineers to do awful things in code. The ugly things in 
compilers was behind the push for standards in both C and C++!

The actual pacemaker likely has so little memory and power that 
it would be very strange to be written even in C (but more likely 
after 16 years of improved technology). It is more likely that 
the pacemaker code is still being written in assembler and the 
whole program is likely less that a few thousand lines.

I am confused by your assertions. It would be *very* unlikely 
once a device is released to production that the compiler would 
be changed to a newer version. Medical device software that is 
done properly must undergo massive amounts of verification and 
validation before it is released. Changing the compiler would 
require that the compiler itself be exhaustively validated 
against the old compiler and then the verification and validation 
of the device would be required to be repeated. That whole 
process would likely cost hundreds of thousands of dollars 
(perhaps even a million) in engineer/clinician time to verify 
that the device is still safe and effective.

It is very likely that all properly managed medical device 
companies continue to use the initially validated compiler for a 
*very* long time. As an example, when I worked in arthroscopy, we 
used the same C compiler for our micro-controllers for 6 years 
before we even entertained updating to the very latest. And 
arthroscopy is not nearly as mission critical as pacemakers.

If the company you did contract work for was not that diligent, I 
would sure like to know who it is so I can tell my Dad to decline 
to use that manufacturer's pacemakers."

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