C++ – No Fears And Great Books

    August 16, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

This is a quick look at a couple of stories on C++, namely why programmers should not feel The Fear of native code, and a quintet of books that should occupy the bookshelves of quality C++ coders.

Tom Yager’s history of .NET and Java includes this delightful quote from the opening paragraph:

It reads thus: Sun created Java to cash in on the success of Visual Basic and to convince development managers that C++ coders are all slobbering toddlers playing with nail guns.

C++ isn’t going anywhere, Yager noted. Developers in the key of C have great instruments to play with, ranging from GCC to “automated empirical optimization. Development tools watch your application run and then retune it based on observed behavior.”

Yager also made a rather bold prediction about native code. He sees more use of assembly language coming soon. That’s right, assembly language. It’s just a short hop to machine code from there, writing right on the metal. That’s either a thrilling or terrifying concept, but it would make for some high-flying applications.

With that in mind, Yager chastises those who have placed too much faith in the promise of Java or .NET:

But it’s time for developers and IT buyers of software and development services to drop the presumption that Java’s and .Net’s training wheels are essential equipment. Java is no longer the only path to writing once and running everywhere, and .Net is no longer the only path to stable and secure Windows applications.

On the literary side of the C++ programming world, author Scott Meyers has picked out five books that would look good on any programmer’s desk. This is the guy who wrote the Effective C++ series of tomes, so one of his books makes the list.

Here’s the handful of books he recommends, ordered chronologically:

The C++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustrup
Effective C++ by Scott Meyers
Design Patterns by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides
International Standard for C++, ISO/IEC
Modern C++ Design by Andrei Alexandrescu

If it matters, four of the five come from Meyers’s publisher, Addison-Wesley. Meyers allows that it is a very subjective list, but it’s a very convincing list as well.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.