Thursday, March 16, 2017

Functions That Act Like Bots

  Uncritical thinking can get us into trouble. If we place too much trust in the group and take every suggestion seriously we can be induced to act improperly. We can't ignore individual responsibility and slave our actions to the will of others.

  The same is true with computer systems. Every computer has a bag of tricks and hackers will try to take advantage of them if they can get away with it. Added security might be achieved if we can limit actions to a known set of instructions. The programs may have to become more like automatons that act cooperatively with assigned tasks and notify others of the problems they encounter.

If things do not go as planned a programmer will have to take remedial action.

This is why I designed the imround function to be selective in its actions. Sometimes it may be useful to pass on error messages to bring them to the attention of the programmer. To others error messages may be a distraction so I decided to add a variable to imround to allow it to change its behavior as needed.

If copy is true, this version of imround will just copy the contents of the source cell if it doesn't modify it. When copy is false, the contents are not passed on.

Sometimes we have to act to maintain order and limit the propagation of error.

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