Chapter 1. Technology’s Impact on Programs

This chapter introduces the ideas of communication, concurrency and asynchronous operation at the operating system level and at the application level. Handling such program constructs incorrectly can lead to failures with no apparent cause, even for input that previously seemed to work perfectly. Besides their added complexity, many of today’s applications run for weeks or months, so they must properly release resources to avoid waste (so-called leaks of resources). Applications must also cope with outrageously malicious user input, and they must recover from errors and continue running. The Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) standard is an important step toward producing reliable applications. ...

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