[linux-elitists] Nobody's favorite language? C++ and free software
Tue Mar 25 22:56:21 PST 2003
On Tuesday 25 March 2003 22:24, Martin Pool wrote:
> It was not intended to be quite as hostile as you think. I admit it's
> not my favourite language, but I think you can still look for
> social/political/market reasons why people use something, in addition
> to technical qualities. For example C succeeded largely on the back
> of Unix and Perl because of CGIs.
I think I misunderstood your implication. I do like C++, but I wouldn't
classify any language as my favorite.
> Who gave you the buzzer? You don't even have your facts straight: 3.1
> came out in 1991-92.
Obviously my bad...I didn't think it was that long for Win3.1 to come along,
I vaguely remembered it comeing out before the Gulf War, but it obviously
> The native C APIs were very low-level and hard to use correctly. It
> was vaguely comparable in Unix terms to doing X without a client
ms had a toolkit for developers, which was pretty complete and had fairly
good documentation and examples done by Charles Petzold with a book he wrote.
X is different in the relation to the server and client, so hard to compare.
> > AFAIK, msc 6.0 never supported C++.
> That's correct, but it also shipped before Windows 3.1, and before
> many people were serious about Windows development. This is exactly
> my point: Microsoft and Borland selected C++ as the standard
> application language just at the time that Windows started to become
> usable. I think it's hard to deny that this gave C++ an enormous
Oh, I agree it gave C++ an enormous boost, however, the industry was being
driven to C++ before Borland created OWL or ms created MFC. Glockenspeil,
RogueWave and other C++ toolkits existed before we had massive class
libraries. IBM's OpenClass library might predate MFC, that I can't remember.
> Microsoft wanted to provide an easier API both to encourage 3rd-party
> apps, and also as a way to sell compiler upgrades. "Making it easy to
> do Windows" was a credible story about why people needed to upgrade
> their compilers and personal skills to C++.
Yes, ms was always looking for a reason people needed to upgrade, and this
was one. However, they were pushed into that decision by the industry, IMO.
> I'm not quite sure what part of this you disagree with. Do you think
> people would have written applications in C++ even if all the
> Microsoft APIs were in C?
Yes, they were writing them already on other platforms and using other
products like Zortech or Borland on the PC. IBM had a C++ compiler on AIX.
Taligent was founded in '92 and used AIX as it's build platform.
I just don't think that ms was the push behind C++, they were more of a
follower. C++ was a natural progression from C, because it was able to
utilize C libraries and link with them. ms was able to leverage C++ into
their model just like other pieces. I just don't believe that ms was a big
player in molding the C++ as you imply, but they were responsible for moving
many developers to it. These of course were developers that had ms-dos shoved
down their throats with the ms tools as dessert.
For anyone that likes C, there is no reason not to like C++. It doesn't force
anyone into using the new features and the C code doesn't run any slower.
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