Tue 15 Nov 2022

ABI compatibility in Python: How hard could it be?

Trail of Bits has developed abi3audit, a new Python tool for checking Python packages for CPython application binary interface (ABI) violations. We’ve used it to discover hundreds of inconsistently and incorrectly tagged package distributions, each of which is a potential source of crashes and exploitable memory corruption due to undetected ABI differences. It’s publicly available under a permissive open source license, so you can use it today!

Source: ABI compatibility in Python: How hard could it be?.

80/20 Refactoring

I have found a new bugbear. Something to be creatively annoyed about. I’m going to call it 80/20 refactoring, to express the idea that a refactoring is started, but then not finished. Probably because doing all of the edge cases in a refactoring is hard.

Source: 80/20 Refactoring, an article by Adriaan De Groot.

Staged programming with typeclasses

Staged programming consists of evaluating parts of a program at compile time for greater efficiency at runtime, as some computations would have already been executed or made more efficient during compilation. The poster child for staged programming is the exponential function: to compute a^b, if b is known at compile time, a^b can be replaced by b explicit multiplications. Staged programming allows you to write a^5, but have the expression compile to a*a*a*a*a.

Source: Staged programming with typeclasses, an article by Thomas Bagrel.

Desert Star

A year has passed since LAPD detective Renée Ballard quit the force in the face of misogyny, demoralization, and endless red tape. But after the chief of police himself tells her she can write her own ticket within the department, Ballard takes back her badge, leaving “the Late Show” to rebuild and lead the cold case unit at the elite Robbery-Homicide Division.

For years, Harry Bosch has been working a case that haunts him—the murder of an entire family by a psychopath who still walks free. Ballard makes Bosch an offer: come volunteer as an investigator in her new Open-Unsolved Unit, and he can pursue his “white whale” with the resources of the LAPD behind him.

First priority for Ballard is to clear the unsolved rape and murder of a sixteen-year-old girl. The decades-old case is essential to the councilman who supported re-forming the unit, and who could shutter it again—the victim was his sister. When Ballard gets a “cold hit” connecting the killing to a similar crime, proving that a serial predator has been at work in the city for years, the political pressure has never been higher. To keep momentum going, she has to pull Bosch off his own investigation, the case that is the consummation of his lifelong mission.

The two must put aside old resentments and new tensions to run to ground not one but two dangerous killers who have operated with brash impunity. In what may be his most gripping and profoundly moving book yet, Michael Connelly shows once again why he has been dubbed “one of the greatest crime writers of all time” (Ryan Steck, Crimereads).

In the evening I started in Desert Star, a Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch novel by Michael Connelly.