stale pointer bug
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<programming> (Or "aliasing bug") A class of subtle
programming errors that can arise in code that does dynamic allocation, especially via malloc or equivalent.
If several pointers address (are "aliases for") a given hunk
of storage, it may happen that the storage is freed or
reallocated (and thus moved) through one alias and then
referenced through another, which may lead to subtle (and
possibly intermittent) lossage depending on the state and the
allocation history of the malloc arena. This bug can be
avoided by never creating aliases for allocated memory, or by
use of a higher-level language, such as Lisp, which
employs a garbage collector.
The term "aliasing bug" is nowadays associated with C
programming, it was already in use in a very similar sense in
the ALGOL 60 and Fortran communities in the 1960s.
See also smash the stack, fandango on core, memory leak,
memory smash, spam.
Nearby terms: Staggered Pin Grid Array « staircase « staircasing « stale pointer bug » Stallman, Richard M. » stand-alone » standard
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