C++ bad-mouthing (was: Why learn Python ??)

Paul Rubin http
Mon Jan 12 22:46:38 CET 2004

claird at lairds.com (Cameron Laird) writes:
> >I'd say don't bother with C++ unless you're working on a big
> >multi-person project.  Its design will make no sense to you unless
> >you've faced the problems that come up in those projects.  Otherwise
> >it's a big mess.
> And if you *are* working on a big multi-person project, and you
> choose C++, you're likely to end up with ... a big mess.

C++ was motivated by the problems faced by big projects written in C.
I'm talking about stuff like telephone switches with hundreds of
programmers and millions of lines of code.  Even with very competent
designers and managers, those projects usually ran amuck.  C++ gives
some real help in keeping projects like that functioning, if the
programmers and managers know what they're doing.  If they don't know
what they're doing (as is the case in most projects), C++ isn't that
likely to help and may make the problems worse.

But if you've lived through the multitudinous nightmares of projects
like that, and you then read Stroustrup's book about C++, on just
about every page you'll see some feature described and you'll
recognize the specific nightmare that inspired it.  If you haven't
experienced those nightmares yourself, I can't be sure but I think the
feature descriptions will just seem like feature descriptions and
you won't understand the real reasons why they're there.

I think the OP's list should also have included Java, which is sort of
a modernized, "discount" version of C++.

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