GrammaTech, Inc. has launched a new crowdsourcing initiative, Annotations for All, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Annotations for All is an initiative that will improve software development by encouraging developer crowdsourcing of software annotations to facilitate the creation of safer software.
Software annotations are added to code by developers to provide information about the intent of a program; they can be harnessed by automated software analysis tools to deliver more comprehensive analyses. Instead of just checking for programming errors that could cause a crash, a static analysis tool with access to thorough annotations can also check to make sure that an application's behavior matches the designer's intent.
To promote broader adoption of annotations, Annotations for All is inviting all developers to contribute annotations for popular open-source projects, particularly widely-used libraries. The Annotations for All website is available now for developers to visit and become involved. The organization is accepting contributions from commercial and open-source developers, researchers, and students. To learn more about the project, its mission, how to get involved and contribute, visit annotationsforall.org.
Front page headlines continue to point to software failures, and often these stem from vulnerabilities in shared libraries, many of which are open source. Annotations for All hopes to take a step in solving this problem by aggregating annotated versions of commonly used libraries, so static analysis tools can do a better job of checking them.
Annotations for All will focus on annotations that can be checked by automated tools, for software written in commonly-used languages such as C/C++ and Java. Using automated analysis tools in conjunction with reliable software annotations takes checking for software correctness one step further.