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Re: Flight Computers

On Tue, 30 Apr 2002, Margaret Leber wrote:

> On Monday 29 April 2002 22:03, Phil Karn wrote in "Re: [amsat-bb] 
> Flight Computers":
> > While writing my AO-40 FEC prototype, I made all the usual mistakes:
> > overwriting the stack, dereferencing null pointers, forgetting to
> > free allocated memory, walking off the ends of arrays, going into
> > infinite loops, etc. Yet not once did I crash Linux, and all the
> > other tasks continued unaffected.
> >
> > It just seems to me that an IHU controlling an expensive satellite
> > could benefit from this same kind of robustness.
> Sounds like strong arguments for using Java. :-) 

That is what I used to think. Until I started experiencing SIGSEGVs from 
the virtual machine. :-(
> Used to be all the EEs came out of school having learned 
> FORTRAN...these days it's C. Strarting to hear about more and more 
> academic Java use, which I think is a good thing. If it fits in a cell 
> phone we can probably make room for it in a satellite.

Java is an excelent language for academical use and gives good object
oriented programing practices to students, unlike c++. But it is still
debatable if it is a good solution for embedded devices or where
performance is an issue.

It would be good if all EEs could learn assembly, c, c++, java, and most
importantly, data structures and system modeling. Then she/he will be able
to decide which one of the languages might be more appropriate for some
specific task and be able to model and document the project so that some
other engineer can understand how the code fits in the whole system.

Don't ge me wrong, I like java a lot, but it has its drawbacks.


-- Edson, pu1jte, n1vtn, 7n4ncl

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