Article of interest: Python pros/cons for the enterprise

Nicola Musatti nicola.musatti at
Fri Feb 22 11:50:59 CET 2008

Paul Boddie wrote:
> On 21 Feb, 19:22, Nicola Musatti <nicola.musa... at> wrote:
> > The main reason why C++ has declined in usage is because it never got
> > the kind of corporate marketing enjoyed by Java and C#.
> What? C++ was practically the favoured language for serious
> applications development on the win32 platform for a good decade. It
> was all about Visual C++/Studio until Microsoft dabbled with J++, got
> sued and eventually came up with C# (and Managed C++). You can't
> really ask for a more influential patron than Microsoft.

You're partly right, but there are a couple of things to consider:
first, at the time the language wars hadn't started yet. As you say
when Sun came out with Java Microsoft first tried to jump on the
bandwagon on its own terms, then invented .NET. Don't forget that
Visual Studio stuck at the 6.0 release for about 5 years. Second, what
Microsoft pushed at the time was their own notion of C++, centred
around the MFC framework. People used to say that there were C++
programmers *and* Visual C++ programmers.

> > Sorry, but although this was probably true in the early 90's that's
> > not the way it goes in practice nowadays, thanks to automatic
> > variables, destructors, the standard library containers and smart
> > pointers.
> Yes, but support for a lot of this stuff usually lags behind the best
> practices, so there are usually the tools that actually do attempt to
> provide this stuff, then there are the tools which people have to use
> (such as Visual Studio) and which don't work satisfactorily, although
> I'll admit that the situation was improving (on the Free Software
> side, at least) when I last had anything to do with C++ in a project.

Things have changed a lot in the last six years. VC++ and g++ are both
very good C++ compilers, quite close to standard compliance and both
moving to anticipate the next version of the standard itself.

> Sadly, it took most of the 1990s for widespread support for several
> key C++ features to become available. The joke always used to be about
> templates and exceptions, but I've had pages full of bizarre errors
> from libraries like Boost more recently than the 1990s. And I've seen
> plenty of libraries this century which probably don't follow the best
> practices, possibly because the people involved have no faith in the
> language implementations.

Both VC++ and g++ support Boost quite well nowadays, with way fewer
workarounds than were required a few years ago. Note that basic things
like shared_ptr have been working well on most C++ compilers for at
least five years.

The real sad thing is that nobody is likely to convince Guido to turn
CPython into C++Python ;-)

Nicola Musatti

More information about the Python-list mailing list