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

Rich Bodo rsb@ostel.com
Wed Mar 26 14:23:26 PST 2003

On Wed, 26 Mar 2003, Don Marti wrote:

> begin Aaron Sherman quotation of Wed, Mar 26, 2003 at 11:30:27AM -0500:
> > > 2. C++ is a Very Large Language
> > >   K&R, The C Programming Language, 2nd ed. -- 274pp.
> > >   Stroustrup, The C++ Programming Language, 3rd Special Ed. -- 1040pp.
> > > "It seems to me quite plausible that the complexity of the language adds
> > > to the time and cost of a full education in C++." -- Raph Levien
> >
> > This is a context-free comparison, and thus not terribly valuable. C
> > provides only the most basic programming tools (in fact, unless you're
> > using something like glib or an equivalent library, I'm not sure that I
> > really count C as a modern language which you can use to compare to C++
> > at all).
> Add a glib tutorial, and the C material would still be 1/3 to 1/2
> the size of the C++ material.
> It would be interesting, though, to see glib-based solutions to the
> programming assignments in "Learning Standard C++ as a New Language".
> http://www.research.att.com/~bs/new_learning.pdf
> > > 8. Not enough beautiful free C++ code to set a good example, while
> > > there's lots of beautiful C.
> >
> > There's plenty of beautiful C++. The problem is that all of it starts
> > off by throwing away huge chunks of the language which impede or at
> > least de-incentivize good programming practices.
> But do all these examples throw away the same chunks?

I would say no, but in this day of large, OO projects, that question
only matters to the project lead.

The lowest common denominator of beautiful C++ features in use is the
set of features in C.  If you plan to integrate with a project that
uses C++, it is often perfectly reasonable to program in straight C,
compiling with a C++ compiler until it becomes necessary to integrate.

Working on a project?  Program in C, maybe using the // comment or new
and delete, and when it comes time to integrate with that Win32 DCOM
object (or class library, or .Net component or whatever), splice the
sample code on and you're a DCOM object (albiet 99% written in
straight C).

The project "architect" or lead can sweat over what is dangerous in
C++, and if he/she is smart, will probably end up using the minimum
set of features required to get the job done.


Rich Bodo | rsb@ostel.com | 650-964-4678

> --
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