[Beowulf] C vs C++ challenge

Cristian Tibirna ctibirna at giref.ulaval.ca
Wed Jan 28 15:17:54 EST 2004

Le Mercredi 28 Janvier 2004 13:55, Robert G. Brown a écrit:
> > 2-3 times slower -- citing another poster "that's what clusters are for"
> > ;-).
> Well, let's get serious here.  A cluster is a large and costly
> instrument.  You don't really mean that you are willing to waste 1/2-2/3
> of the practical capacity of up to a million dollars worth of hardware
> by writing in C++'s generic objects in order to save a few weeks of
> writing truly efficient code in C.  

Of course not. Thus the smiley. And of course I (very often) get frustrated at 
the "laziness" of the popular C++ compilers as well at the performance drop 
(that sometimes becomes unacceptable by any standards). But getting 
frustrated at compilers is a bearable psychosociological inconvenience 
compared with the rage (accompanied sometimes with physical violence ;-) that 
badly written code in a too flexible (or too poor) language can inflict on 

There's the aspect of software engineering in temporally, spacially and 
knoweldgeably sparse teams. In projects with many millions LOCs, developed 
over many (>5) years, employing 30 to 40 persons (many of them passage 
students with brief interventions), especially projects with a pedagogic 
penchant, anything less strict and with a lesser standardized high level 
library than C++ wouldn't cut it.

But you of course already touched the topic of pedagogic intents before in 
this thread.

I dare extract a conclusion (as the thread drifts fastly;-): "the right tool 
for the job at hand" remains the essential wisdom to keep in mind when comes 
to choosing languages.

Cristian Tibirna				(1-418-) 656-2131 / 4340
  Laval University - Quebec, CAN ... http://www.giref.ulaval.ca/~ctibirna
  Research professional at GIREF ... ctibirna at giref.ulaval.ca
  PhD Student - Chemical Engng ... tibirna at gch.ulaval.ca

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