Re: a great C++ book?

From: Richard Gooch (
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 15:01:23 EST

Larry McVoy writes:
> On Tue, Jan 01, 2002 at 12:25:10PM -0600, Oliver Xymoron wrote:
> > On Mon, 31 Dec 2001, samson swanson wrote:
> >
> > > hello again,
> > >
> > > i ask this group because i trust in your intellect.
> > >
> > > For a beginner to C++ what is your favorite book? A
> > > book that goes in depth of teaching the language.
> > > remeber i am a beginner, new to c++.
> >
> > If you already know C well, Bjarne Stroustrup's "The C++ Programming
> > Language" is decent. If not, start with Kernighan and Ritchie's "The C
> > Programming Language". Put the two next to each other and you might gain
> > some insight into the creeping horror that modern C++ has become.
> It's hard to explain a love/hate relationship with C++. I think
> many systems programmers come to a point where they can "speak" C++
> and do so in design conversations all the time, talking about the
> "objects" and the "methods", etc. But they program in C.
> This sends a somewhat mixed message to the casual observer who might
> think that one language or the other is "better". The reality is
> that you want tp program in a fairly object oriented way but you
> also want to avoid "the creeping horror that modern C++ has
> become.".

An extract from the FAQ about C++:

"My personal view is that C++ has it's merits, and makes
object-oriented programming easier. However, it is a more complex
language and is less mature than C. The greatest danger with C++ is in
fact it's power. It seduces the programmer, making it much easier to
write bloatware. The kernel is a critical piece of code, and must be
lean and fast. We cannot afford bloat. I think it is fair to say that
it takes more skill to write efficient C++ code than C code. Not every
contributer to the linux kernel is an uber-guru, and thus will not
know the various tricks and traps for producing efficient C++ code."

Object-oriented programming is a good tool. One of many. But it
shouldn't be a religion, nor do you need to write in C++ to make use
of it. A good example of object-oriented programming done in C is the
Xt toolkit.

> Makes you wonder what would happen if someone tried to design a
> minimalistic C++, call it the "M programming language", have be
> close to C with the minimal useful parts of C++ included.

I'm sure lots of people have thought about this. A friend of mine and
I sat down once and did a rough design for the "K" language, which was
supposed to be "exactly like C, only better". Basically, we wanted to
cherry-pick the good bits of C++, plus add some other things. As
usual, lack of time is the enemy. Besides, what's point unless it gets
widely used, and the chance of that is small.


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