MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has taken recycling to a whole other level as they have developed a way to fix software bugs with “healthy code from other applications.” The new development even allows coders to fix the issues without having to go back to the original source code.
“Think of it as an organ transplant. Except in this case, the sick patient is a buggy software app. And the ‘donor organ’ is a piece of code from another application, even if it’s written in a whole different language,” explained Kelsey Campbell-Dollagan of Gizmodo.
“That’s a crude and imperfect metaphor, but it helps explain CodePhage, a system that was presented by MIT researchers at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Programming Language Design and Implementation conference this month, as MIT News explains today.”
Much like recipients waiting for donors in the real world, the programs need to be matched with the perfect sequence of code. When a patient is receiving a donor organ, many cases call for both the donor and the recipient to share the same blood-type. That way the risk of rejection is dramatically lower in turn presenting a successful transplant. That being said there is a bit more flexibility with the MIT system.
“What’s really cool about this system is that it can fix bugs using solutions that might not even be written in the same language, creating a kind of patchwork of good ideas from a broad range of sources,” said Dollaghan.
“The longer-term vision is that you never have to write a piece of code that somebody else has written before,” said MIT News’ Martin Rinard, according to Dollaghans’ report.
“The system finds that piece of code and automatically puts it together with whatever pieces of code you need to make your program work.”
Recycled code could present itself to be one of the best new shortcuts once perfected.
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