Re: [stella] Ping Aaron Giles

Subject: Re: [stella] Ping Aaron Giles
From: bwmott@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 16:22:16 -0500 (EST)
> Geez.  Code bloat, defective compilers, bad libraries, terrible object code
> (ever examine C++ call chains?, unbelievable stack usage, routines which just
> shuffle params around and call another bajillion functions, etc).. can someone
> explain to me why people bother using C++ at ALL?

Well this is way off topic and I don't want to start a language war but I'll 
try to answer your questions.  Just because some compilers have problems 
doesn't mean that the "language" itself is bad :-)  Overall I think C++ has 
some very nice features that make it useful (static type checking, classes, 
method access specifiers, exceptions just to name a few).  Sure you can do 
object-oriented programming in other languages the question is how much effort 
do you have to put into it and how easy will it be for someone else, who may 
not be as good a programmer as you, to understand the framework you've 

I'm not saying C++ is the greatest language of all time.  It has its
advantages and disadvantages just like every other language.

> As a UNIX sysadmin who compiles just about everything he uses on his core 
> systems, of the 100 or more pieces of software I've compiled and installed, 
> the only programs that wasted my time trying to get compiled and working 
> correctly were C++ programs. (pickyabout compiler versions, picky about 
> libs, picky about the brand of my underwear I was wearing).

Well for one thing C++ has been an evolving language.  It wasn't until
November of 1997 that the "Draft C++ Standard" was accepted by the ISO
C++ Committee.  So up until a little over a year ago all compilers were 
based on various versions of the draft C++ standard.  Since some features 
changed from one version to another code that used these features tended 
to break.  

Although I'm not sure of it.  I would imagine a similar thing occurred during 
the "early" days of C on its way to the ANSI C Standard and I think we can 
see the same thing happening with Java as it evolves.

Also remember the the C++ standard library is much bigger and newer than
the C standard library.  Therefore it's bound to have more bugs in it,
however, over time they should be resolved.  I hope that having a C++
standard will help a lot with the library related problems :-)

> Someone please tell me what I'm failing to understand.  You can obtain awesome
> code re-use and modular design with even assembly language, let alone C.  So
> what the bloody hell is served by this crap like C++?  It's ironic that its
> CLAIMED advantages are "increased productivity, reduced programmer working in
> circles, 'better structural syntax' etc and yet releasing new products written
> with take longer to make, are piggier and bloated, and run very slowly.

I'll admit that some C++ compilers do produce bloated code (especially when
using templates), however, I'd have to wonder about them taking longer to
develop and running very slow.  I imagine a skilled C++ programmer could 
develop a program just as fast as a skilled C programmer with similar speed.

Hope that helps,

Bradford W. Mott (bwmott@xxxxxxx)          Computer Science Department           North Carolina State University

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