TWiR quote of the week

We were able to verify the safety of Rust's type system and thus show how Rust automatically and reliably prevents entire classes of programming errors

Ralf Jung in Computer Scientist proves safety claims of the programming language Rust | EurekAlert! Science News

8 Likes

Rust isn't a "silver bullet". Never was. It is a car with seatbelts, airbags, lane assist, turn signals and crumple zones. You can still crash, but risk is mitigated.

Estaban Kuber on Twitter

6 Likes

Rust is an super-safe self-driving car with manual override.

I think that misses the point. Rust still lets you make logic errors, but that shouldn't discount the progress it's made. "super-safe self-driving car" seems to imply that safe rust will always be bug free, which is never a goal that rust has had, and what this quote is about.

maybe, but maybe logic errors are going the wrong way and UB is crashing the car.

(safe) rust wont let you crash, but if you give it the wrong directions that's on you.

2 Likes

I hate car analogies, especially to software things. They fall apart so quickly, even if they made any sense in the first place.

"Safe Rust" has a specific and well known meaning. At least to anyone who has studied Rust for a few minutes. It says nothing about always being bug free.

2 Likes

I think this is not a great comparison, since Rust's safety guarantees are much stronger than any self-driving car's.

Super off topic rant

So much of the self-driving hype is just that...pure marketing hype. Lots of claims are thrown around about the number of miles driven, but that's mostly on straight-ish roads in good weather. I'd love to see a self-driving car navigate a heavy construction area where the GPS maps are all wrong, the painted lines are going all over and/or straight into barriers, uneven road surfaces making extra "lines", flashing lights all over the place, and lanes of barrels that look like they were thrown by drunken monkeys. Add some bad weather on top of it and maybe a few pedrestrians and you have a recipe for disaster. How long until a road full of self-driving cars "see" a flooded roadway as unobstructed and a whole flotilla of cars speed into a washed out area, taking their unsuspecting passengers to a watery doom? I'd also love to see a self-driving car park at an event where the parking is in a grass field and the only indicators are guys standing around pointing where to go. Driving around and parking at a large sporting event, or a mall on Christmas Eve would also be impressive, but unlikely. Manufacturers taking the easy way out (Tesla, I'm looking at you) by suggesting that the driver be alert and ready to take over in case of "emergency", is simply ridiculous. No human being could possibly have the situational awareness and reaction speed to instantly take over in a situation where the computer suddenly decides it doesn't know what to do. Expecting such is a way of avoiding responsibility for the fact that AI driving is still little more than marketing BS.
End rant.