dmalcolm (dmalcolm) wrote,

Autodetecting reference-counting bugs: the video!

I gave a talk at PyCon 2012 about my Python plugin for GCC - how this lowers the barrier for entry to potential GCC hackers, and how I've been using this to find reference-counting errors in Python C extension modules.

A video of the talk can be seen here:
or on YouTube here.

The slides are here.

We had a mini-sprint after the talk, and another later on in the main sprints, covering these topics:
  • getting the plugin to build on OS X (using MacPorts' build of gcc-4.6.1): this works, but needed some compat patching around some of the differences between glibc and OS X's libc (also case-sensitivity of filenames).
  • improving the static analysis engine: currently it takes the simplistic approach of trying to generate all traces of execution through the function in a big tree, which suffers from exponentially explosions.  I'm hoping the insides can be reworked to implement an iterative solver that can handle loops more robustly (data flow equations)
  • improving the HTML error reports that the analyzer generates.  More on this to follow!
I've also finally succumbed to the inevitable and joined github: you can fork the plugin here (this is just a clone I keep synchronized with the Fedora Hosted repository)
Tags: fedora, gcc, python

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