C++ / Java / Python (was Status of C++)

dickjoe_nospam_ at mindspring.com dickjoe_nospam_ at mindspring.com
Fri Mar 3 05:51:24 CET 2000

You, dear Sir, are sadly misinformed.

I (with others) have written an industrial-strength image server
completely in (portable) C++. Multi-threaded, scalable, extensible.
Runs under NT, Solaris, Linux. 
Our server (the released version) never crashes, and does not degrade.
It is designed for use by large numbers of clients accessing 
large numbers of images. Our server handles huge datasets -- 
e.g. random-access of images up to a 1,000,000 pixels squared.
I have 15 yrs. exp. in C / C++. Some Forth, Lisp, Java, Python (and
assember, ugh!)

Java you say? I laugh in your face. C++ is one of the most sought-
after skills for "serious" programming (see below).
Don't assume that companies you speak to know what they are
talking about. I do know there is a very high demand for C++.
As far as Java, yes it is the "flavor of the week", 
but check out Python for something much superior, 
and much less hyped, and public domain too.
However don't think of it as suitable for Application-level
programming (there may be exceptions to this rule)

C++ is pretty much the default choice for "serious" software, and
in that I incude "system" and "application" programming.
Anything that runs on a server should not use java.

What language do you think is used to write some of the 
most complex systems around? The phone company needs switching
software. Have you heard of ATT/Bell Labs? Have you heard 
of Bjarne Stroustrup? You may want to inform him that his skills 
are antiquated and he better brush up on his Java if he wants
to be competitive in the industry, whatever industry it is you are 
referring to.

I call the kind of programming you are referring to 
"client-side" or "applet" or "plugin" programming. Don't attempt to
write e.g. PhotoShop in Java. Don't attempt to write a web server in
java. Don't expect java to work well in next-gen architectures. 
C++ does not have these problems.

Java is NOT an alternative to C++.
Python IS an alternative to Java (except for lack of browser support)
Lisp (its myriad flavors) has it adherents and there are lots
of other languages as well that all have their advantages and
drawbacks. I am not interested in language flame wars
and I am always suspicious of the "over-sell" and the 
"marketing-driven" solutions, as well as anything which 
is not standardized and made public-domain. 
I do not like the idea of having to wait for Sun to fix (one of the
many) fatal flaws, or to get around to writing a VM for a new
platform. I have read that a port of the python system to a 64-bit
architecture took a single afternoon.
That is not to say that Java may not win out over Python and others, 
much like MS-DOS won out over CPM.

If you want to program your palm pilot use Python, not Java (in my
opinion). If you want to target serious "new" development become a C++
whiz. Participate in free software projects. Get linux, apache, gcc,
etc. Read code until the room swims. And yes, you may need to 
settle for less to get years of  "real-world" C++ experience before
you can land the sweet "all-new, all-C++" projects.

Good luck!

On 22 Jan 2000 05:08:27 -0500, "Gaurav Sareen" <neerasg at hotmail.com>

>I dont want to start a meaningless debate but want to simply know where C++
>stands in the industry.
>As far as I am told, most companies are using Java for application level
>programming while plain old C for system level programming; C++ is more or
>less extinct. There is still some C++ work going on on old projects due to
>inertia but very few people favor C++ for new work.
>What I am concerned with is that C++ would be relegated to the COBOL level,
>with lot of maintenance, migration to do but with very little new
>development. A programmer like me who is intermediate in C++ but zero in
>Java can only hope to work on such maintenance etc.
>Here of course I am not interested in knowing whether C++ is better than
>Java but whether I have at least equal career oppurtunity as any good Java
>programmer or not.
>      [ Send an empty e-mail to c++-help at netlab.cs.rpi.edu for info ]
>      [ about comp.lang.c++.moderated. First time posters: do this! ]

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