The future of C++

Discussion in 'C++' started by Adam Ierymenko, May 16, 2004.

  1. Forgive me if this is a dead horse...

    I am currently deciding which language to use for a rather large and
    important project. I am leaning toward writing highly portable C++
    (and possibly using wxWindows for cross-platform GUI) and am currently
    brushing up on my C++ skills for the job. (I am a highly experienced
    programmer but have done most of my work in C and Java.)

    I haven't looked at C++ in a while, but it seems to be in *better* shape
    today then it was six or so years ago when I last looked at it. The
    free compilers (g++) are *much* better and the language itself seems
    more standardized. There are also more cross platform toolkits and
    programming techniques available so you don't have to deal as much
    with vendor lock-in. I get the impression that if I'm careful and use
    stuff like wxWindows I should be able to target *nix, Windows, and
    Macintosh without problems.

    However, something is still nagging at me with regard to C++:

    Is it going to become obsolete?

    I know... this is not going to happen anytime soon. There is tons
    of code written in C++. I'm thinking more along the lines of a ten-
    year time horizon. Everything seems to be moving toward virtual
    machine languages like Java and C#, and there seems to be lots of
    anti-C/C++ FUD going around. Some of it has some basis-- it *is*
    easier to write bad code in C++ than in Java-- but some of it seems
    to be just FUD at least from the point of view of a highly skilled
    programmer who knows how to write good C/C++ code. C/C++ is still
    faster than a VM language (*especially* for stuff like graphics)
    and a good programmer can write good code in C++ just as easily as
    in Java. (You've heard the adage: bad C code crashes, bad C++
    code leaks memory, and bad Java code is slow.)

    The most troubling thing that I see is that MS is heavily pushing
    C# as the language of choice on the Microsoft platform. Right now
    Windows is the #1 C++-centric environment around... most serious
    Windows apps are written in C++ and just about the entire OS beyond
    the kernel is. MS seems to be moving in the direction of pushing
    "managed" languages like C# for application development and maybe
    even discouraging the use of standard C and C++ for DRM and security
    reasons. It's easier to implement a DRM-based "everything has to be
    signed" environment if all code runs in managed VM environments.

    So what happens to C++ in the long term if it withers on the Microsoft
    platform? Will it become a legacy language?

    Just curious to see what opinions I get on this one...
    Adam Ierymenko, May 16, 2004
    #1
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  2. Troll Alert: The future of C++

    Adam Ierymenko wrote:

    > Forgive me if this is a dead horse...


    It's a dead horse.

    > Is it going to become obsolete?


    We all hope that C++ will eventually be replaced by a better language
    but that's an issue for your children and grandchildren to deal with.

    > The most troubling thing that I see is that
    > MS is heavily pushing C#
    > as the language of choice on the Microsoft platform.


    It is very dangerous to invest in Java much less C#.
    There is *no* publicly owned standard for either of these languages.
    You are at the mercy of large corporations who have, in the past,
    demonstrated that they do *not* have your best interests in mind.
    E. Robert Tisdale, May 16, 2004
    #2
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  3. Re: Troll Alert: The future of C++

    On Sun, 16 May 2004 15:27:50 -0700, E. Robert Tisdale wrote:

    Adam Ierymenko wrote:

    > It is very dangerous to invest in Java much less C#.
    > There is *no* publicly owned standard for either of these languages.
    > You are at the mercy of large corporations who have, in the past,
    > demonstrated that they do *not* have your best interests in mind.


    I tend to agree. That was my point, and it wasn't
    a troll. Sorry if it came across as one.

    My concern is simply that these large corporations, Sun
    and Microsoft (who are now in alliance) might seek to
    beat open standards like C++ out of the marketplace to
    create an oligopoly.
    Adam Ierymenko, May 17, 2004
    #3
  4. Adam Ierymenko

    Greg Comeau Guest

    In article <>,
    Adam Ierymenko <> wrote:
    >Forgive me if this is a dead horse...
    >
    >I am currently deciding which language to use for a rather large and
    >important project. I am leaning toward writing highly portable C++
    >(and possibly using wxWindows for cross-platform GUI) and am currently
    >brushing up on my C++ skills for the job. (I am a highly experienced
    >programmer but have done most of my work in C and Java.)
    >
    >I haven't looked at C++ in a while, but it seems to be in *better* shape
    >today then it was six or so years ago when I last looked at it. The
    >free compilers (g++) are *much* better and the language itself seems
    >more standardized. There are also more cross platform toolkits and
    >programming techniques available so you don't have to deal as much
    >with vendor lock-in. I get the impression that if I'm careful and use
    >stuff like wxWindows I should be able to target *nix, Windows, and
    >Macintosh without problems.
    >
    >However, something is still nagging at me with regard to C++:
    >
    >Is it going to become obsolete?
    >
    >I know... this is not going to happen anytime soon. There is tons
    >of code written in C++. I'm thinking more along the lines of a ten-
    >year time horizon. Everything seems to be moving toward virtual
    >machine languages like Java and C#, and there seems to be lots of
    >anti-C/C++ FUD going around. Some of it has some basis-- it *is*
    >easier to write bad code in C++ than in Java-- but some of it seems
    >to be just FUD at least from the point of view of a highly skilled
    >programmer who knows how to write good C/C++ code. C/C++ is still
    >faster than a VM language (*especially* for stuff like graphics)
    >and a good programmer can write good code in C++ just as easily as
    >in Java. (You've heard the adage: bad C code crashes, bad C++
    >code leaks memory, and bad Java code is slow.)
    >
    >The most troubling thing that I see is that MS is heavily pushing
    >C# as the language of choice on the Microsoft platform. Right now
    >Windows is the #1 C++-centric environment around... most serious
    >Windows apps are written in C++ and just about the entire OS beyond
    >the kernel is. MS seems to be moving in the direction of pushing
    >"managed" languages like C# for application development and maybe
    >even discouraging the use of standard C and C++ for DRM and security
    >reasons. It's easier to implement a DRM-based "everything has to be
    >signed" environment if all code runs in managed VM environments.
    >
    >So what happens to C++ in the long term if it withers on the Microsoft
    >platform? Will it become a legacy language?
    >
    >Just curious to see what opinions I get on this one...


    When you mention C++ and obsolete in the same sentence, it's
    worth pointing out that COBOL, Pascal, FORTRAN, Basic, etc are
    still alive and well. As is C for that matter (whith it was
    claimed by many that C++ would put out of business). Also,
    C++ has succeeded against all odds, and through that, it was
    said that it would not succeed. But it did. And since it has,
    it's been said every year since it would be legacy or be dead
    by the next year. Even as you say with C# and Java, it is
    still alive and well. The languages can co-exist, peacefully.
    If you feel C++ is appropriate for your problem for whatever
    reasons led you to that, it being obsolete or legacy should not
    be a concern. Of course, it may be, but so may everything else
    for that matter. But I'd put my money on C++ continuing in
    a heathy manner (and in fact I have).
    --
    Greg Comeau / Comeau C++ 4.3.3, for C++03 core language support
    Comeau C/C++ ONLINE ==> http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
    World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
    Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
    Greg Comeau, May 17, 2004
    #4
  5. Adam Ierymenko

    Greg Comeau Guest

    Re: Troll Alert: The future of C++

    In article <>,
    Adam Ierymenko <> wrote:
    >On Sun, 16 May 2004 15:27:50 -0700, E. Robert Tisdale wrote:
    >Adam Ierymenko wrote:
    >> It is very dangerous to invest in Java much less C#.
    >> There is *no* publicly owned standard for either of these languages.
    >> You are at the mercy of large corporations who have, in the past,
    >> demonstrated that they do *not* have your best interests in mind.

    >
    >I tend to agree. That was my point, and it wasn't
    >a troll. Sorry if it came across as one.
    >
    >My concern is simply that these large corporations, Sun
    >and Microsoft (who are now in alliance) might seek to
    >beat open standards like C++ out of the marketplace to
    >create an oligopoly.


    Of course they are seeking that. But it doesn't mean
    they always win, or that mutiple choices won't continue to exist,
    or that they'll even be more successful on these than others
    in the 10 year span you refer to.
    --
    Greg Comeau / Comeau C++ 4.3.3, for C++03 core language support
    Comeau C/C++ ONLINE ==> http://www.comeaucomputing.com/tryitout
    World Class Compilers: Breathtaking C++, Amazing C99, Fabulous C90.
    Comeau C/C++ with Dinkumware's Libraries... Have you tried it?
    Greg Comeau, May 17, 2004
    #5
  6. Adam Ierymenko wrote:
    > Forgive me if this is a dead horse...
    >
    > I am currently deciding which language to use for a rather large and
    > important project. I am leaning toward writing highly portable C++
    > (and possibly using wxWindows for cross-platform GUI) and am currently
    > brushing up on my C++ skills for the job. (I am a highly experienced
    > programmer but have done most of my work in C and Java.)


    Use whatever language you want. I knew a guy who would design languages
    specifically for a project. The language doesn't really matter as long
    as the executable performs correctly (as defined by the requirements).

    If other people are helping on the project, then they need to know
    the language too. Same for people who will be maintaining the project.

    I'm getting kind of sick of these "future of ..." discussions. Write
    the program in Modula2 or PL/1 for that matter.

    If you have a choice, choose either a language you are really fluent
    in or one that is better suited for the project. One could write
    a word processor application in Fortran '77, however the project may
    be easier using a language that has better string and text handling
    capabilities.

    --
    Thomas Matthews

    C++ newsgroup welcome message:
    http://www.slack.net/~shiva/welcome.txt
    C++ Faq: http://www.parashift.com/c -faq-lite
    C Faq: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/c-faq/top.html
    alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++ faq:
    http://www.raos.demon.uk/acllc-c /faq.html
    Other sites:
    http://www.josuttis.com -- C++ STL Library book
    http://www.sgi.com/tech/stl -- Standard Template Library
    Thomas Matthews, May 17, 2004
    #6
  7. Adam Ierymenko

    JKop Guest

    You're gonna have to use C++ to write these virtual machines.


    Are *you* going to virtual machine for a new generation fridge, or oven, or
    romote control, or speaker system, or celluar phone, or car speedometer?


    -JKop
    JKop, May 17, 2004
    #7
  8. Adam Ierymenko

    bartek Guest

    Re: Troll Alert: The future of C++

    Adam Ierymenko <> wrote in
    news:p:

    > On Sun, 16 May 2004 15:27:50 -0700, E. Robert Tisdale wrote:
    >
    > Adam Ierymenko wrote:
    >
    >> It is very dangerous to invest in Java much less C#.
    >> There is *no* publicly owned standard for either of these languages.
    >> You are at the mercy of large corporations who have, in the past,
    >> demonstrated that they do *not* have your best interests in mind.

    >
    > I tend to agree. That was my point, and it wasn't
    > a troll. Sorry if it came across as one.
    >
    > My concern is simply that these large corporations, Sun
    > and Microsoft (who are now in alliance) might seek to
    > beat open standards like C++ out of the marketplace to
    > create an oligopoly.
    >


    Certainly they are, but as long as there are conscious, open minded
    people among us, it's not going to happen... at least soon...

    On the other hand, how would you explain the fact, that MS did release a
    completely functional, largely standard compliant C++ compiler, to the
    public for free, recently? Is it only meant as an argument for
    discussions just like this particular one?

    --
    :: bartekd [at] o2 [dot] pl
    bartek, May 17, 2004
    #8
  9. Adam Ierymenko

    Jerry Coffin Guest

    Re: Troll Alert: The future of C++

    "E. Robert Tisdale" <> wrote in message news:<>...

    [ ... ]

    > It is very dangerous to invest in Java much less C#.
    > There is *no* publicly owned standard for either of these languages.
    > You are at the mercy of large corporations who have, in the past,
    > demonstrated that they do *not* have your best interests in mind.


    ECMA-334 standardizes the C# language. I don't remember the number
    offhand, but there's also an ECMA standard for the CLI (its virtual
    machine).

    AFAIK you're entirely correct about Java though. Though officially a
    publication of a separate committee, Sun controls the committee and
    everybody else basically gets only an advisory role.

    --
    Later,
    Jerry.

    The universe is a figment of its own imagination.
    Jerry Coffin, May 18, 2004
    #9
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