Account disable announcement

As of Friday, September 8, 2023, the SEI Secure Coding Wiki no longer provides the ability to sign up for new user accounts. In addition, all accounts that have not made contributions (e.g., comments, edits) to a space or page content will be disabled (accounts that have had recent activity will not be disabled).

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The Perl rules and recommendations in this wiki are a work in progress and reflect the current thinking of the secure coding community. Because this is a development website, many pages are incomplete or contain errors. As rules and recommendations mature, they are published in report or book form as official releases. These releases are issued as dictated by the needs and interests of the secure software development community.

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Rules vs. Recomendations

This coding standard consists of rules and recommendations, collectively referred to as guidelines. Rules are meant to provide normative requirements for code, whereas recommendations are meant to provide guidance that, when followed, should improve the safety, reliability, and security of software systems. Learn more about the differences.

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  1. Like others languages, is not a good idea compare floating point numbers in Perl. For solving that you can:

    transform the numbers in strings and compare the strings according hte precision needs of yours:

    sub are_equals {

    #dont forget to sanitize $num1 and $num2 before using into sprintf

        my ($num1, $num2, $precision) = @_;

        return sprintf("%.${precision}f", $num1) eq sprintf("%.${precision}f", $num2);



    define an acceptable error range ($delta) for your project:

    sub are_equals {

        my ($num1, $num2, $delta) = @_;

        if ( $delta >= ($num1 - $num2) )

            return 1;

        return 0; }


    Or just use bignum accordingly.

    1. Yes, there is a world of information on how to handle floating-point arithmetic. IIRC the Perl FAQ has some info. Also CERT has plenty of info on their C wiki:  Rule 05. Floating Point (FLP). Since most languages use IEEE 754 for fp arithmetic, mostly the do's and dont's are language-independent (smile)

    2. Anonymous

      You'll have troubles if $num1 is "too much" less than $num2 (think calling are_equals(0, 2, 1)).


      abs() helps here:

      sub are_equals {

          my ($num1, $num2, $delta) = @_;

          if ( $delta >= abs($num1 - $num2) )

              return 1;

          return 0; }


      I also find it more readable to put the difference in the left hand side and call $delta with a more expressive (IMHO) name:

      sub are_equals {

          my ($num1, $num2, $max_delta) = @_;

          return abs($num1 - $num2) <= $max_delta;