I was thinking something like writing an undocumented “Happy New Year!” to 
standard out at the start of the year. An obvious but undocumented ‘rm -rf 
/‘ attempt was mentioned above.

My first program was a practical joke. On the calculator command line I 
said “press enter” then put the program call on the next line. The program 
would scroll some text forever. The command display state was preserved 
through being turned off, so somebody in the next class pressed enter then 
had their calculator lock up and I got in trouble because the teacher had 
to remove the batteries. I had an effect on many people because of the lost 
class time. I explained that there was a key to interrupt any program.

These university licenses allow newcomers to programming to make that kind 
of social mistake and I think it’s right to not punish them for it. I might 
not be a programmer if I had gotten detention for the calculator program, 
and things like GCC might not exist without some wild thinking. I don’t 
think this approach is right for industry, other serious ventures, and 
especially not for safety focused applications though.

It looks like the Intel corporate family thinks Intel, ARM, and Power 
architecture processor implementations are trustworthy enough for safety 
applications. There’s this OS called VxWorks said on the website to be 
intended for safe IoT device applications: 

It appears that WindRiver has worked with the GCC project for the VxWorks 

QNX has a C/C++ toolchain for ARM and x86: 

Here’s a 2011 thread about Go and RTOS: 

There there’s a claim that the garbage collector makes Go unusable in 
real-time operating systems, but I think there are cases where real-time is 
less important than the OS being developed with reliability in mind. Maybe 
Go could be very useful on RTOS platforms.

My understanding is the intent for Go is to solve problems at Google. I 
think involving varying outside uses of Go will help Google by making a 
toolchain more robust than just Google applications will do, and I think 
the design of the Go language is ideal for a next generation of general 
purpose software like C was before. And I hope this thread adds value.

“No features contrary to documentation” seems like a mistake since 
documentation is usually not right. “No obfuscated features or obviously 
wrong features” seems too vague and may invite incorrect claims. “This 
software has no effects except for documented or obvious use”? Obviously a 
lawyer would have to translate it to match case results and other lawyer 
things, and those writing software under the license would have to be aware 
of the implications. I plan to email a summary of this discussion to FSF 
and OSI mailing lists.


On Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 8:55:09 PM UTC-5, kortschak wrote:
> I hope so. I provide a package (github.com/kortschak/zalgo) that I 
> cannot promise will not summon demons. It was written intentionally as 
> a joke. I disclaim all liability should use of the package bring about 
> meetings with demonic presences. 
> On Wed, 2018-05-16 at 07:25 -0700, matthe...@gmail.com <javascript:> 
> wrote: 
> > I think practical jokes should be allowed under the GPL, BSD, and 
> > similar  
> > licenses. 

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