BitC is a new systems programming language combining the safety, flexibility, and richness of Haskell with the low-level expressivenes of C or C++. Programs in BitC are type- and memory-safe, but are able to deal efficiently with low-level data structures. Early measurements suggest a performance penalty of between 1.5% and 3% relative to C. While bytecode implementations are possible, BitC is designed to be statically compiled.
The EROS Group is a provider of high-confidence software and systems, which are expensive to build and more expensive to maintain. BitC is part of an emerging tool chain that exploits modern, advanced type systems and static checking techniques for maintainably high-confidence systems. Our company is about to start converting the most sensitive parts of our secure operating system to BitC, which will reduce risk of penetration while allowing us to rigorously check and maintain our application-level requirements and invariants.
The talk will focus on those elements of BitC that were driven by our experience building the Coyotos operating system, and how we plan to use the language to keep our systems robust. I also look forward to talking with people and answering questions during the group sessions.
Dr. Shapiro is most recently known for his work on the EROS secure and reliable operating system, and it’s commercial successor, Coyotos (www.coyotos.org). His work on the BitC programming language grew out of a need to make systems programs and major applications more defensible in general. Dr. Shapiro has worked in settings ranging from small startups to Fortune-25 corporations. In one life he spent nearly ten years on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University. In another, he has acted as founder or co-founder of four startup companies.
Dr. Shapiro was the author of A C++ Toolkit, the first book on reusable programming in C++. In addition to his work on operating systems and programming languages, he has also taken leading architectural roles in debugging and performance analysis tools.
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