Security Experts:

Python Gets High Marks for Open Source Software Security: Report

Coverity, a provider of development testing solutions, announced the results of its second Coverity Scan Project Spotlight this week, which analyzed the Python open source software project, including defect density as compared to the industry average defect density for good quality software and types of defects identified.

“Python software has been in use for more than 20 years, enabling secure and reliable programs for industry, service sector and research and science applications,” Coverity said. “Industry-leading organizations including CERN, Google, Mozilla and YouTube, among many others, incorporate the popular programming language into their applications. Python was one of the initial projects included in the Coverity Scan service, which enables the open source community to find and fix critical quality and security defects in their code. Since 2006, Python has achieved a defect density of .005 (or .005 defects per 1,000 lines of code) and has eliminated all high-risk defects in its codebase.”

Coverity’s 2012 Scan Report found an average defect density of .69 for open source software projects that leverage the Coverity Scan service, as compared to the accepted industry standard defect density for good quality software of 1.0.

According to the security testing firm, Python's defect density of .005 significantly surpasses this standard, and introduces a new level of quality for open source software.

Coverity said that it has analyzed nearly 400,000 lines of Python code and identified 996 new defects to date – 860 of which have been fixed by the Python community.

"Python is the model citizen of good code quality practices, and we applaud their contributors and maintainers for their commitment to quality," said Jennifer Johnson, chief marketing officer for Coverity.

A full copy of the report is available here in PDF format.

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