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

Michael Bacarella mbac@netgraft.com
Tue Mar 25 12:07:33 PST 2003

> 4. Some compilers still don't support ISO standard C++, so
> real-world projects end up falling back to a conservative but
> ugly subset that doesn't offer compelling advantages over C.
> (see, for example http://www.mozilla.org/hacking/portable-cpp.html)

Some?  There is no compiler today that supports ISO standard C++

They may have all of the features, but none of them meet all
conformance details.  A friend who works on a C++ compiler says
that none of them* can even compile half of all of the examples in the
C++ standard.

Second, the compile time error messages from the STL are almost impossible
to decipher.

Lastly, consider the market.  C is a great systems language, but not
desireable as an applications language, especially when OOP is so in
vogue.  Therefore you begin to consider C++, but to be fair, you also
start looking at languages like Ruby, Python, even (irk) Java.
Why would anyone stick to C++ if they also know any of these other

I don't think many people can answer the question in any rational way,
but there are probably plenty of people who have become infatuated
with playing a game; C++: The puzzle.

* There are three basic C++ compilers on the market.  Microsoft's,
    GNU's, and the rest.  The rest are one compiler since they all
    license EDG's C++ frontend.


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