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

Martin Pool mbp@samba.org
Tue Mar 25 23:12:04 PST 2003

On 25 Mar 2003, Alan DuBoff <aland@SoftOrchestra.com> wrote:

> For anyone that likes C, there is no reason not to like C++.

I like C because it's simple. :-)

> It doesn't force anyone into using the new features and the C code
> doesn't run any slower.

I think the main problem with C++ is that new features have been added
because "they don't cost anything".  They may not (in theory) slow
down the runtime, but they do complicate the language.

As I said before, for people doing free software, there are several

 - Fewer people will be able to contribute to your program.  Even if
   you only consider experienced Unix programmers, I suspect a
   significant fraction will be less confident in C++.

 - It will be slower to build under g++.  Sad but true.

 - It may be harder to port to non-GNU systems.  

 - In the past there have been ABI versioning problems.  

 - Most interesting unix libraries have C interfaces, so you can't
   really escape from working at that level anyhow, at least in some
   parts of your program.

 - Many people are not convinced that C++ is not really more
   productive than C -- so why bother?

Plus the others mentioned earlier in the thread.


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