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Re: I'm glad I know a little perl...

by l3nz (Friar)
on May 29, 2004 at 13:08 UTC ( #357471=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to I'm glad I know a little perl...

-troll mode on-

I personally will take Java over C any time of the year (and C over C++, but I happen to heartily hate C++). And I frankly don't miss Smalltalk. And I know quite a number of people who used and loved Pascal. So what?

Reading Paul Graham, it looks like he likes language in virtue of their similarity to Lisp. I like what I can do and how much time it takes me, and how expressive a language is. So what?

-troll mode off-

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Re: Re: I'm glad I know a little perl...
by jepri (Parson) on May 30, 2004 at 04:33 UTC
    To troll properly, you have to make a general assertion that will tick off most of the community, like "It's obvious to everyone who isn't a bonehead(like most here) that Java is in every way superior to any dinky little hand-rolled language you simpering fools might prefer" It doesn't work properly if you make it clear you're just expressing a personal opinion.

    --, please practise your trolling harder

    OK, I'm just kidding. Personally, I share your opinion.

    I think Paul Graham gets away with his critiques because he makes it totally clear that he is completely partisan, but in a very non-hostile way.

    Plus I have a lot of respect for someone whose basic attitude seems to be "I'm having a great party over here all by myself. Come and boogie anytime you want." It's got me looking, which is something no other advocate has ever managed.

    I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

      Ok I'll go practice my trolling harder..... :-)

      I love reading Paul Graham - his On Lisp book - available freely - is a collection of jewels (written in Lisp, of course...) but you'll have to learn from it in any case, whichever your language of choice might be. Still I don't get convinced to leave my Java for Lisp in real world system building. :-) A 500hp roadster might be fun for the experienced driver, but I'd rather drive a sensible sedan every day going to the mall....

Re: Re: I'm glad I know a little perl...
by BUU (Prior) on May 30, 2004 at 10:40 UTC
    Since we're wandering in to the topic of language debate, personally I can't stand C, I much prefer C++, probably because I'm bitter over using lots of C code that tries to be OO, but with none of the OO features that make OO practical. *mutter.

    I see this sentiment a lot though (people hating C++ but liking C), and I still don't understand why. I tried asking why in another node some what similar to this one and got some of my diferences between the two (c and C++) nit picked, but I never really got what I felt was a substantiative answer.

    So, why do you hate C++ and prefer C?
      So, why do you hate C++ and prefer C?

      Personally, I much prefer C++ over C. But I have a few theories as to why others might prefer C:

      • It's a smaller, simpler language. K&R 2nd ed. is a slim volume, about 150 pages or so. Stroustrup "Special Edition" is somewhere north of 1000 pages.
      • When I transitioned from C to C++, I found myself spending 90% of my time working on header files. While my overall time to a functional solution went down, it did sometimes feel like I wasn't coding as much as I used to under C. In C, it is easier to just start coding, as it does not force you to think about larger-picture issues as often — or, at least, as early — as C++ does.
      • C is "closer to the metal". People can mentally map a given chunk of C code to assembler (or at least they think they can; modern compilers and CPUs are liable to do much stranger things to the code than the average programmer).
      • The (mostly mythical) issues of efficiency. Using C++ in all its power does inflict overhead, both space and time, at compile time, link time, and runtime. Whether this overhead is noticable, and whether it is recovered by the progress of technology in the amount of time you save by using higher-level languages, is less certain.
      • Earlier versions of C++ (both the accepted language definitions and the compilers that supported it those to varying degrees) had issues and shortcomings that could turn people off in a hurry (remember generic.h?). Also, some widely-used frameworks did their best in those limited languages, with painful results (hello MFC). If coders have not dealt with a modern compiler and modern library, they might still be thinking of 1994 C++.
      • C++ with proper use of the STL can often leave coders feeling that they are just monkeys connecting components together and never writing anything fun or interesting.
      • As you mention, there are a lot of C libraries that try to do OO-ish things, and those models often fail to interact gracefully with the C++ object model. this can cause people to avoid C++ entirely.
      • Some of the features of C++ make it difficult to interact gracefully with any libraries (templates, exception handling, RTTI, virtual functions).

      As I said above, I personally prefer C++ over C for almost every task where I am forced to use a low-level language. The above are some of the reasons I've heard others give as to why they don't care much for C++, though.

      I knew a C programmer once who liked pure C simply because there's no magic. The programmer is in direct control of every aspect of the program.

      I've never written any C, but I used to debug a fair amount of it, and I really appreciated this programmer's code. It was really tight, easy to read (for C), and rarely contained surprisess.

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