Run-time checking of data access in pascal-like languages
Until it becomes possible to rigorously prove the correctness of programs of substantial size, careful and thorough run-time checking will play an essential role in the development and maintenance of reliable software. We believe that typed pointers and discriminated unions are fundamental data abstractions which are of great use in a wide variety of programming languages and programming endeavors. It then follows that efficient, thorough and optimizable checks which monitor them at run-time are an essential adjunct to their use. Certainly our experience with PASCAL has convinced us of their utility. Although run-time checks are often held in disrepute, we should not ask ourselves, “Can I afford them?” but rather “Can I afford to be without them?”.
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