Entropy and Code - Embedded.com

Entropy and Code

Is your code subject to the effects of entropy? Does it tend to devolve into a “big ball of mud?” According to experts “the most frequently deployed software architecture” is just a big ball of mud, a “haphazardly structured, sprawling, sloppy, duct-tape and bailing wire, spaghetti code jungle.” This is the issue that Jack Ganssle wrestles with in this week's “Embedded Pulse.” It's also the topic of this week's Embedded.com poll.

Entropy isn't our only challenge this week. Bernie Cole can always find something gone awry or about to go awry, and this week it's viruses on Internet-connected appliances. In “the Net-centric View”he raises the question, how likely is it that an Internet-enabled embedded device, an information appliance, or an embedded Internet device will become infected? And if one does get infected, what protection does the software contained in the device have against it? Just to worry us, he points out that even if the industry can reduce the likelihood of viruses infecting the new generation of net-centric devices to one-hundredth of one percent of that on Windows systems, the numbers are against us because there will be so many devices deployed in a few years.

In “Embedded Soapbox”, this week's contributor takes issue with Extreme Programming, and wonders how many of us would be willing to fly on an airplane running software developed this way.

Dealing with interrupts, that is, the breaks in program flow, is an essential part of embedded systems development. Engineers have to understand how these breaks occur and how they can affect the program that is running. In Beginner's Corner, contributor Russell Massey explains how the processor and software handle interrupts in “Understanding Interrupts”.

The June issue of Embedded Systems Programming has been posted, including a feature article on Java and all of your favorite columnists. Two of the articles include code that can be downloaded from the code archive.

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