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An Interview With C++ Creator Bjarne Stroustrup 509

DevTool writes "Bjarne Stroustrup talks about the imminent C++0x standard and the forthcoming features it brings, the difficulties of standardizing programming languages in general, the calculated risks that the standards committee can afford to take with new features, and even his own New Year's resolutions."
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An Interview With C++ Creator Bjarne Stroustrup

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @03:34PM (#34838874)

    No, it's going to be called C++0xc or 0xd.

  • Interview (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @03:55PM (#34839078)

    I always preferred this [] interview with Bjarne Stroustrup.

    (Yes, I know it's not real, but...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @04:10PM (#34839258)

    Interviewer: Well, it's been a few years since you changed the
    world of software design, how does it feel, looking back?

    Stroustrup: Actually, I was thinking about those days, just before
    you arrived. Do you remember? Everyone was writing 'C'
    and, the trouble was, they were pretty damn good at it.
    Universities got pretty good at teaching it, too. They were
    turning out competent - I stress the word 'competent' -
    graduates at a phenomenal rate. That's what caused the

    Interviewer: Problem?

    Stroustrup: Yes, problem. Remember when everyone wrote Cobol?

    Interviewer: Of course, I did too

    Stroustrup: Well, in the beginning, these guys were like demi-gods.
    Their salaries were high, and they were treated like

    Interviewer: Those were the days, eh?

    Stroustrup: Right. So what happened? IBM got sick of it, and
    invested millions in training programmers, till they were a
    dime a dozen.

    Interviewer: That's why I got out. Salaries dropped within a year,
    to the point where being a journalist actually paid better.

    Stroustrup: Exactly. Well, the same happened with 'C' programmers.

    Interviewer: I see, but what's the point?

    Stroustrup: Well, one day, when I was sitting in my office, I
    thought of this little scheme, which would redress the
    balance a little. I thought 'I wonder what would happen, if
    there were a language so complicated, so difficult to learn,
    that nobody would ever be able to swamp the market with
    programmers? Actually, I got some of the ideas from X10,
    you know, X windows. That was such a bitch of a graphics
    system, that it only just ran on those Sun 3/60 things.
    They had all the ingredients for what I wanted. A really
    ridiculously complex syntax, obscure functions, and
    pseudo-OO structure. Even now, nobody writes raw X-windows
    code. Motif is the only way to go if you want to retain
    your sanity.

    Interviewer: You're kidding...?

    Stroustrup: Not a bit of it. In fact, there was another problem.
    Unix was written in 'C', which meant that any 'C' programmer
    could very easily become a systems programmer. Remember
    what a mainframe systems programmer used to earn?

    Interviewer: You bet I do, that's what I used to do.

    Stroustrup: OK, so this new language had to divorce itself from
    Unix, by hiding all the system calls that bound the two
    together so nicely. This would enable guys who only knew
    about DOS to earn a decent living too.

    Interviewer: I don't believe you said that...

    Stroustrup: Well, it's been long enough, now, and I believe most
    people have figured out for themselves that C++ is a waste
    of time but, I must say, it's taken them a lot longer than I
    thought it would.

    Interviewer: So how exactly did you do it?

    Stroustrup: It was only supposed to be a joke, I never thought
    people would take the book seriously. Anyone with half a
    brain can see that object-oriented programming is
    counter-intuitive, illogical and inefficient.

    Interviewer: What?

    Stroustrup: And as for 're-useable code' - when did you ever hear
    of a company re-using its code?

    Interviewer: Well, never, actually, but...

    Stroustrup: There you are then. Mind you, a few tried, in the
    early days. There was this Oregon company - Mentor
    Graphics, I think they were called - really caught a cold
    trying to rewrite everything in C++ in about '90 or '91. I
    felt sorry for them really, but I thought people would learn
    from their mistakes.

    Interviewer: Obviously, they didn't?

    Stroustrup: Not in the slightest. Trouble is, most companies
    hush-up all their major blunders, and explaining a $30
    million loss to the shareholders would have been difficult.
    Give them their due, though, they made it work in the end.

    Interviewer: They did? Well, there you are then, it proves O-O

    Stroustrup: Well, almost. The executable was so huge, it took
    five minutes to load, on an HP works

  • by hackingbear ( 988354 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @04:15PM (#34839294)
    According to Wikipedia, "C++0x" is pronounced "see plus plus oh ex" []. After three rounds of macro preprocessing, four expansions of template substitutions, and reversing five levels of dynamic cast operator overloads, the name is eventually compiled to something readable: C plus plus? Oh, my ex-programming language!.
  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @04:16PM (#34839306) Journal

    No. THIS is a joke.

    Two bytes meet. The first byte asks, “Are you ill?”
    The second byte replies, “No, just feeling a bit off.”

  • by derGoldstein ( 1494129 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @04:48PM (#34839638) Homepage
    You moved from portable, scalable, flexible C++ to an architecture-specific assembler? Ah, I see you were modded up. Good, Slashdot is working perfectly today.
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @04:57PM (#34839744) Journal

    It's a long time before anyone starts to use nullptr.

    If you ever ran Visual Studio 2010, you have used a product that uses nullptr in some parts of its source.

    (while we're at it, it also has C++0x lambdas)

  • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:20PM (#34840146) Journal
    Nah, the revised and improved C++ is going to be called D.

    Oh wait, it already is. ;)
  • by c++0xFF ( 1758032 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:58PM (#34840772)

    My user name seems appropriate here.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall