Techniques for Software Quality Analysis of Binaries: Applied to Windows and Linux

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Executive Summary

In this paper, the authors present their efforts to measure different quality aspects of large-scale, binary software. They apply four well established metrics to binary versions of Windows and Debian Linux, analyze their results and discuss their observations. It is surprising to see that their metrics, which search for well known bad coding habits, result with so many violations. It appears that although bad and insecure software development practices are well understood and documented, in practice, recommended coding styles are not followed. Their work evaluates binary versions of software, allowing one to inspect software quality without the need of source code. They believe that this approach, if successful, could lead in the future to better priced software.

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