C++ programming

Alan Scheinine scheinin at crs4.it
Wed Oct 16 06:03:47 EDT 2002


The C++ language is often more convenient than C.  In addition,
I have seen many fields in which Fortran is the commonly used language.
In my opinion it is necessary to be fluent in both Fortran and C
in order to collaborate with other on various projects.  With regard
to C++, it is very easy to write a program that requires the patient
of a saint to understand if the person reading the code is not the
author.  (Because the actual function called depends on the types
of the variables and depends on the actual class created when a
pointer to a class is the base class of a hierarchy with virtual
functions.)  The reusability and flexibility of classes of C++
actually makes changes more difficult when the the change is not
forseen by the original author -- in my opinion, based on my experience.
For example, I found it very difficult to parallelize a program
written in C++ because the original author (who left the company)
wrote very generalized classes whereas I needed to distinguish
whether data was on the same machine (accessable by pointer) or on
a different machine, which required message passed to access the data.
The distinction was not forseen and hence it was necessary to understnad
every part of the code, which used a large amount of function overloading.
   It is interesting how the discipline of writing programs that can
be changed easily in the future is far beyond the discipline of
understanding the programming language.
best regards,
Alan Scheinine
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