Moving Up The Rings
Many things have rings: mobile phones have incredibly annoying ones, jewelers have incredibly expensive ones, and Hell — at least according to Dante — has incredibly detailed ones. For the past three years, thanks to a government contractor called Coverity, Open Source has rung as well.
Coverity began contracting with the Federal Government in 2006, after the Department of Homeland Security began to wonder about the quality of the Open Source offerings being used by fellow feds. The company builds code-analyzing tools aimed at finding vulnerabilities and other hiccups in the programming process, and thanks to the government's inquisitive nature, those tools have been turned on Open Source for the past three years.
The company's system is unlike the more traditional find, report, and fix approach where developers and users running the applications identify problem areas as they present themselves and correct as necessary. Coverity uses static analysis, which performs its review without running the software. The method doesn't identify certain types of issues, as Forrester Research's Jeffrey Hammond pointed out to IDG News: "Static analysis [tools] won't tell you that your business process is working correctly...but they will tell you that the code itself is technically solid."
According to Hammond, static analysis looks primarily for poor programming — "structural 'anti-patterns' in code" — identifying "more exotic" issues including parallel code execution, as well as more common problems like buffer overflows and memory leaks. The process identifies whether code "follows the kind of programming best practices you'd expect to see from code that has gone through a proper code review."
The analysis process, which relies on voluntary submission of code for review, uses a rung system to classify how far the project has progressed in correcting the problems discovered in during analysis. Coverity has assigned four projects — OpenPAM, Ruby, Samba, and tor — to Rung 3, the final step on the bug-squashing ladder.
Coverity reports that 280 projects have submitted code for review, representing over sixty million lines of code. More than 11,200 bugs have been eliminated, with coders from some 180 projects working to scan submitted code. The program has dramatically decreased what Coverity calls "defect density," down sixteen percent in three years.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide