NEW GUIDLEINES IMPROVE SAFETY
30 Jun 08. New guidelines covering the use of the popular “C++” programming language in safety critical applications, such as vehicle and flight controls, have been developed and published by the professional body promoting safe standards. The guidelines directly address the safety of motorists, pilots and a host of other applications where electronic systems are being designed to control vital operations. The new guidelines have been driven by the development and proliferation of the C++ programming language into safety critical embedded controls.
MISRA C++, a new language subset from MISRA, is now available to purchase online1.
MISRA C++ specifies a subset of the C++ programming language that is intended to be suitable for embedded systems. It contains a list of rules concerning the use of the C++ programming language together with justifications and examples. MISRA’s first language subset “MISRA C” was originally published in 1998. Since then over 7000 copies have been distributed throughout the world. This guidance has been used in rail, military, aerospace, medical and general embedded systems products, as well as in its original automotive market.
David Ward, MISRA Project Manager, said: “Few could have predicted the effect that MISRA C would have within embedded systems engineering. Since its launch in 1998, it has become the dominant coding standard used for the development of critical systems with the C programming language …Given this success, the fact that C++ is now being used within critical systems (e.g. the Joint Strike Fighter, jet-engine controllers and medical systems), and that there is currently no universally accepted set of guidelines for its use in these systems, MISRA committed itself to the development of a similar set of guidelines for C++.” The latest guidelines represent the culmination of years of dedicated research. Chris Tapp, the MISRA C++ Team Leader, explains: “The MISRA C++ Working Group was established towards the end of September 2005 with the objective of producing, using techniques similar to those within MISRA C, a C++ subset suitable for use in critical systems ….In defining MISRA C++, we are seeking to provide a single source of C++ guidelines that will be accessible to and understandable by the majority of programmers.”