I found this amazing entry at comp.lang.ada via Hacker News:
From: k…@… (Kent Mitchell)
Subject: Re: Does memory leak?
Norman H. Cohen (n…@…) wrote:
The only programs I know of with deliberate memory leaks are those whose executions are short enough, and whose target machines have enough virtual memory space, that running out of memory is not a concern.
(This class of programs includes many student programming exercises and some simple applets and utilities; it includes few if any embedded or safety-critical programs.)
This sparked and interesting memory for me. I was once working with a customer who was producing on-board software for a missile. In my analysis of the code, I pointed out that they had a number of problems with storage leaks. Imagine my surprise when the customers chief software engineer said “Of course it leaks”. He went on to point out that they had calculated the amount of memory the application would leak in the total possible flight time for the missile and then doubled that number. They added this much additional memory to the hardware to “support” the leaks. Since the missile will explode when it hits it’s target or at the end of it’s flight, the ultimate in garbage collection is performed without programmer intervention.
Kent Mitchell | One possible reason that things aren’t
Technical Consultant | going according to plan is …
Rational Software Corporation | that there never was a plan!
Are there similar stories to share?