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Home » Tip Bank » C++
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
Jun 29, 1999

Software Engineering (C++ a bad choice?)

Question:
I am working on an assignment that asks us to determine why using C++ is a bad choice, from a software engineering perspective. So far, I have found that C++ is slow in comparison to other languages, such as PASCAL or VB, and there is no built in Revision Checking System, or CASE tools. Can you point out any other problems? The above reasons also have me a little baffled because I don't know any other language that has a built in RCS.

Answer:
Before helping you out, I need to set you straight. :-) C is probably the fastest, most efficient compiled language there is. C++ adds overhead but that overhead is not there unless you call on constructs that require it. The only way to write better code is if you're good at assembler, but current C++ compilers even allow you to do inline assember as well! I can't imagine where you got the idea that C++ is slower than PASCAL or VB. That is simply absurd. With respect to CASE tools, there are plenty of those on the market. I don't find CASE tools a good marker for determining what is a good language. I'm not sure what you expected a C++ developer to tell you about what a terrible language C++ is. I hear these language wars all the time touting this language or that. In virtually all cases, these arguments are made by people who only know one language. As someone who uses multiple languages, I can tell you that each has its strengths and weaknesses. As far as I'm concerned, the only weaknesses C++ has is that it takes longer to learn and program. This is the reason that VB is most widely used language. You might want to consider which language is more popular when determining which will be a better asset, but VB programmers should probably be aware that the tools and operating systems they use were written mostly in C and C++.

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