A critique of C++ by Joyner I.

By Joyner I.

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As mentioned in the introduction, both sides of the analysis/design vs implementation debate page 28 need to compromise in order to bridge the semantic gap. The perpetuation of low level languages such as C into OOP is proof that the programming community is not willing to compromise, or sharpen its axe enough in order to bridge this costly gap. The critique began with certain questions, and as no work can be absolute (particularly a programming language), it will end with more questions that it is hoped will create more debate, and more questioning into what we are really trying to achieve with program development.

The musician does not just view the metronome as an aid for beginners, or as something that restricts him to a set beat, but as a tool that helps produce a polished and professional performance. C should not be seen as a language to which you graduate after you have learnt to program in languages with safety checks. In fact changing to C or C++ is a great step backwards. Languages with consistency and semantic checks are essential aids to the production of professional software. This paper has shown many cases where C++ uses old C mechanisms to provide things that can and should be expressed consistently within the object-oriented paradigm.

This slows down the development process, and is therefore costly. Good programmers in this context (often called ‘gurus’), are those who recognise symptoms, and recommend fixes. Good programmers in the better sense (often called ‘impractical idealistic dreamers’) adopt better practices (programming languages being a subset of these), that avoid error in the first place. C encourages gurus who spout false wisdom on obscure subjects. Writing programs in C is often called ‘coding’. Coding is writing obscure encryptions that will later have to be decoded, by none else than a guru!

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