[linux-elitists] Nobody's favorite language? C++ and free software

Justin F. Knotzke jknotzke@shampoo.ca
Tue Mar 25 11:41:50 PST 2003

On Tue, Mar 25, 2003 at 11:25:08AM -0800, Don Marti wrote:

> My question is -- now that we have GCC 3.2.x
> (http://gcc.gnu.org/gcc-3.2/ -- "A primary objective was to stabilize
> the C++ ABI; we believe that the interface to the compiler and the
> C++ standard library are now relatively stable.") and an increasing
> collection of interesting free software using C++, is it time to
> take a second look at this perhaps unfairly maligned language?

   While stabilizing the ABI is a good thing, it still doesn't change
the fact that C++ is a serious biatch to code for. It offers so many
different ways to shoot yourself in the foot.

   I hacked C++ for a few years and I never quite understood it. If I
stuck to the basics I was OK. Get into templates, multiple inheritence
and I found myself spending as much time yelling at the compiler as I
did coding.

   Then, once it was all running, I would have to port it to another
Unix and BOOM! ..all over again. Code that worked fine under gcc in
Linux crashed all over using Sun's compiler and vice versa and nevermind
the compilers under HPUX. Even using the same version of g++ over
different Unixes showed different results.

   However, I have seen people who are much better coders then me who
write brilliant C++ code. The problem was, only they and their elite few
could follow it.. and it only worked under the environment they coded


Justin F. Knotzke

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