A critique of C++ by Joyner I.

By Joyner I.

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C also encourages programming by guesswork. C programmers often solve ‘bugs’ by adding extra ()s, *s and &s, without understanding the problem. People who attain proficiency at this guesswork, are known as, well you guessed it, gurus!! The view that correctness checks are training wheels for students, which gurus don’t need must be dispelled. Many disciplines have techniques to ensure correctness. For example, the metronome in music is not just for students, but will help an C++?? 2nd Edition advanced musician ensure that the tempo of a piece is correct, and since playing to a metronome is more difficult, will help sharpen the musicians performance of the piece.

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. Does C++ provide effective communication between programmers separated in both space and time?

If the language is blunt, then procedures, processes and methodologies might alleviate the situation, but they do not solve the problem. Once the axe is sharpened, then real progress is made, and the procedures, processes and methodologies also become more effective. A good axeman will have good axe wielding technique, but given a choice of axes will choose the sharpest implement. A poor axeman could be ineffective with even a sharp axe, but the axe maker will still strive to produce the sharpest axe for the good axeman.

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