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From: Roland McGrath <>
To: (H.J. Lu)
Cc: (Ian Lance Taylor),
Subject: Re: A patch for elf.c
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 08:04:00 -0000	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

> To me, clearing memory is the super set of setting one field to
> zero. I am a better safe than sorry person. I have no time
> to second guess if there is another field I should clear.

It is indeed the superset of setting one field to zero.  The question is
whether, generically speaking, setting a field to zero is the appropriate
way to initialize it.  It is not appropriate in all cases, so clearing
memory is not necessarily a superset of appropriately initializing each field.

If I may presume to explain another's position, I think Ian (like me), also
considers himself a "better safe than sorry" person.  For us, that means it
is better to be safe by individually addressing each case with a human eye
and being sure that case is handled properly, than to be sorry by presuming
that some nonspecific blanket solution like zeroing everything will be the
appropriate way to initialize each and every field.

(What I prefer to do myself is use a debugging version of malloc that fills
newly-allocated space with a distinctive nonzero bit pattern, e.g. 0xa5a5a5a5,
that makes it unlikely that the program could happen to work if a field is
left uninitialized.)

  reply	other threads:[~1998-12-09  8:04 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 9+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
1998-12-08  9:57 ` H.J. Lu
1998-12-08 10:28   ` Christopher C Chimelis
1998-12-08 11:26   ` Ian Lance Taylor
1998-12-08 11:34     ` Christopher C Chimelis
1998-12-09  7:42     ` H.J. Lu
1998-12-09  8:04       ` Roland McGrath [this message]
1998-12-09  9:35       ` Ian Lance Taylor
1998-12-09 10:03         ` Jeffrey A Law
1998-12-09 16:27         ` Stan Shebs

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