Aaron Ballman is a security software engineer for CERT (a part of the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University). He has over a decade of experience writing cross-platform frameworks in C/C++, compiler & language design, and software engineering best practices and is currently a voting member of the C++ standards committee (WG21).
In case you can't figure it out easily enough, the views expressed here are my personal views and not the views of my employer, my past employers, my future employers, or some random person on the street. Please yell only at me if you disagree with what you read.
Author Archives: Aaron Ballman
One thing which I am pretty religious about is the placement of ++ and — in an expression. You have two options for where it can go. If it goes before the operand, it’s a pre-increment/decrement. If it goes after … Continue reading
As a framework designer, you have a lot of things to worry about. Calling conventions, size compatibility, structure layout, etc. I’d like to briefly talk about another thing to worry about: memory management. I’m not just talking about “please don’t … Continue reading
An ABI is an “application binary interface”, which is basically a contract between pieces of executable code on how to behave. The ABI dictates things like how parameters are passed, where return values go, how to create and destroy stack … Continue reading
Programmers have many tools available to them for improving the quality of their code. One of my personal favorites is the code review — getting another set of eyes on my source code always challenges my assumptions, and invariably flushes … Continue reading
This was a silly mistake on my part, but one which took me several hours to track down. In retrospect, I had everything at my disposal to tell me exactly what the problem was, I just didn’t notice it. It … Continue reading
I am pretty sure this qualifies as the worst abuse of a compiler I can think of. Note, I am not recommending you use this in production code, lest you wish to be set on fire by those who have … Continue reading
In my last post, I had mentioned that I found a phenomenon that made no sense to me. It had to do with initializing the members of a structure when calling new. Since I can’t let sleeping dogs lie, I … Continue reading
A tail call is a specific pattern of source code where the last instruction executed in a method is another function call. For instance: In this code, the call to last is considered a tail call because there are no … Continue reading
At my day job, we do a lot of complex math calculations in our frameworks. To increase performance, we have enabled the optimizer to use certain assembly instruction sets such as MMX and SSE. However, we have found that not … Continue reading