MISRA C 25th Anniversary

April 2023 marks a significant milestone, the 25th anniversary of the publication of the original version of MISRA C!

Back in the 1990s, following the success of Development guidelines for vehicle based software which required the use of a “restricted subset of a standardized structured language” the automotive industry was just beginning to move from assembly language to “C” in their embedded systems e.g. engine management and restraint systems.  Two of the members of MISRA at the time were independently working on C guidelines for their suppliers and decided a common approach might benefit the industry.  Thus MISRA C was created, being authored by a group of 7 people from 5 companies, and a further 35 people involved in a public review.

At the time we hoped to make a small contribution to the quality and safety of software in the automotive industry and could not have foreseen the wider interest in MISRA C and its uptake across a range of industries.  MISRA C has become the de facto standard for development of software in C in embedded and hosted applications where quality, safety and security are considerations.  It has been used across all safety-relevant industries and has even left the planet in code in space vehicles.  We are extremely grateful to the dedicated group of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to continue development of MISRA C taking into account user feedback and new features in the C language itself.  We are also grateful to the tool vendors who have adopted MISRA C into their products making compliance with the guidelines feasible in development projects.

In Nuremberg this week, MISRA continues its partnership with the Embedded World Conference with its own dedicated program stream of MISRA themed presentations.  This event will also see the release of MISRA C Amendment 4, concluding the inclusion of the new C11 and C18 language features.

Looking to the future we intend to release a new revision of the guidelines soon (to be known as MISRA C:2023) rolling up the recent amendments. The new edition of MISRA C++ is also scheduled for release later in the year.

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