Linked by David Adams on Sat 11th Oct 2008 16:48 UTC, submitted by IndigoJo
General Development Eric Raymond is working on an essay, putatively titled "Why C++ Is Not My Favorite Programming Language". In his announcement, he calls it "an overcomplexity generator", "bloated, obfuscated, unwieldy, rigid, and brittle", and alleges that these characteristics appear in C++ applications also. I contend that many of the complaints about C++ are petty or are aimed at specific libraries or poor documentation and that many of the features commonly regarded as unnecessary (and excluded from intended replacements) are, in fact, highly useful. C++: the Ugly Useful Programming Language
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luzr
Member since:
2005-11-20

Objective-C does not have too much common with C++ design goals.

Objective-C just adds a bit of smalltalk syntax over C. Whereas C++ extends C syntax while keeping low-level efficiency.

BTW, note that there is Objective-C++ too ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

The original request was to get something that you could do everything possible with C++ and still be C compatible.

I delivered ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

luzr Member since:
2005-11-20

OK, but that applies to about any language ;)

Anyway, if there is any feature that is really *unique* to C++, it is destructor.

It is extremely useful and not present in any other language (AFAIK).

I guess destructors are the real reason why I prefer C++ ;)

Particulary, there is nothing similar in Objective-C.

Edited 2008-10-11 23:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

The original request was to get something that you could do everything possible with C++ and still be C compatible.

I delivered ;)


Absolutely not. One of the core foundation of modern C++ programming is generic programming. And in C++ this is not implemented through type erasure, instantiation of templates actually lead to new types. Combined with specialization, this also offers metaprogramming, which can be used for doing everything from compile-time optimizations to creating domain-specific languages (e.g. see Boost Spirit).

The Standard Template Library (STL) is built on C++ templates. It provides generic containers and algorithms. Where many other languages add e.g. sort algorithms to list classes (which is not really a reusable approach), STL provides generic algorithms for every container that provides iterators.

So, two of the most important aspects of modern C++, templates and STL are missing in Objective. So, it's not really a substitute. The only thing that probably comes close is D.

Reply Parent Score: 4

werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

Objective-C does not have too much common with C++ design goals.

Objective-C just adds a bit of smalltalk syntax over C. Whereas C++ extends C syntax while keeping low-level efficiency.

BTW, note that there is Objective-C++ too ;)

Well there are two different design principles. Objective-C followed the keep it simple principle while C++ followed the, lets take every feature there is on earth and press it into the language approach. The problem is, that the keep it simple approach always is superior. Java could have never taken off if not a huge number of projects simply failed on C++s inherent complexity! Java sort Next was able to pull of a decent component based system in time with ObjectiveC while most others had inherent delays (COM etc...) or failed entirely in their first incarnations (Project Pink from Apple and IBM) is a clear sign of the overcomplexity of the design. The funny thing is that the better C++ based systems basically follow the keep it simple principle and omit a huge load of the language to reduce themselves down to the sane core!

Reply Parent Score: 3

luzr Member since:
2005-11-20


Objective-C followed the keep it simple principle while C++ followed the, lets take every feature there is on earth and press it into the language approach.


Yeah, right. I just fail to see what all of these "every feature in the world" are...

E.g. compared to Java, I only see that C++ supports operator overloading and multiple inheritance from regular classed (you can inherit from multiple interfaces in Java though).

Do not even start speaking about C#, it has many many more of "every feature in the world" in it.

Now considering Objective-C, C++ introduces class as extension to C based struct, while Objective-C introduces wholy new runtime concept. Now of course, Objective-C approach has its advantages, but if you are about to decide what approach is simpler, extending existing C feature has to win...

Reply Parent Score: 2

michi Member since:
2006-02-04

Well there are two different design principles. Objective-C followed the keep it simple principle while C++ followed the, lets take every feature there is on earth and press it into the language approach.


Objective-C may be simpler then C++, but it is also way more limited then C++. For example it is impossible to write a efficient vector class in Objective-C. In C++ you would to something like:

public class Vector
{
public:
Vector(double x, double y, double z);
Vector operator+(Vector v);
double operator*(Vector v);
...
}

In Objective-C it is just not possible to write light-wight classes. Every method invocation is a hashtable lookup. You can of course use C-structs but in my opinion this is also suboptimal.

Objective-C also does not offer operator overloading and templates which are quite useful for numeric stuff, just think about matrix multiplication.

In my opinion the scope of Objective-C is much more limited then C++, but for some things it might be the better language.

Reply Parent Score: 2