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Warren

Compatibility sells. Has for a long time. That was the whole idea behind IBM's System\360 of forty years ago. Sometimes it's called the "Network Effect". The new Intel 8086 was advertised as being "Compatible" with their older chip, the 8080 -- it wasn't, but it sold.

Upward and downward compatibility, old terms. The new version of PHP, of mySQL or of anything runs the old stuff just fine, but once you've switched, you can't go back. C++ did the same thing but with one hell of a big step. The big upgrade.

ejohnson

You're certainly right. Its not a new thing and it comes in a lot of flavors too. I think my particular attraction to C++ as an example is that I've never seen anyone mention it before.

I also think there's other paths to the technological coup d'etat.


kevin

That has certainly been my experience. But I must admit, probably out of ignorance, that I still find sprintf and other stdio functions far superior to io-manipulators and the like. Ofcourse, one must be careful not to mix cout/printf io-streams, or all life as you know might stop instantaneously and every molecule in your body explode at the speed of light. I wonder what other 'deprecated' C features supposed C++ programmers can't give up for their OO/STL counterpart?

Mark W

Great post, the effect is so insidious, I never noticed what had happened until reading it here. I am weak and manipulated.

bofe

been reading this essay and all of the ones in "best software writing I"

just letting you know you've got a typo in this: "developeris"

"Its at this point in the infection process that C++ takes over. Not only does it leverage the features of the existing code base. But it offers a potpourri, a smorgasboard, a veritable endless supply of doodads and useful features that the willing and intelligent *****developeris***** able to "

Paulo Koch

C++ striked me as a natural anesthesia for my OO/Java needs while programing C. STL is only a memory-managment "recliner", so you don't have to realloc everytime you read another byte. Essentially, it's just C with classes and wierd 'ArrayList's

eric johnson

If I were the Linux folks, I'd be avoiding C++ too! Resolving the semantics of exception handling inside the kernel is too much.

Michiel Schaeverbeke

I think this is happening all over again with languages such as C#; allthough you can't use existing C++ code in C# as easily as it was to use C in C++, it is quite easy to turn the switch and start coding in C# once you're used to C++. However, let's not forget that there's more to it than strategy; languages do evolve, often for the better. I wouldn't want to program in C now that I have C++. On the other hand, I still prefer C++ over C# and until recently, C# was a step back in time (e.g. templates have only just been introduced). They're catching up, but it still means that C++ leads the way, which brings me to my point: quality within a language is what makes it shine, not it's strategy. I wrote a whole issue on this in my blog: http://vitamincpp.blogspot.com/

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playclary

A man is trying a very unusual way to propose to his girlfriend. He wants people to forward an email to as many people as possible and he hopes that it will eventually get to his girlfriend. Details here: http://www.proposal-to-mary.com

Here is what he wants people to send by email:

You could help me a lot to spread my proposal to Mary – it is important that it is distributed as widely as possible so that it eventually reaches Mary. If you would like to support my proposal to Mary, please send the following text by email to a lot of people :-)

------------- SNIP (email text end) ---------------

WHEN YOU RECEIVE THIS, PLEASE HELP TO DISTRIBUTE IT TO OTHER PEOPLE!

For a long time I have tried to find a special way to propose marriage to my girlfriend Mary, whom I know for five years now. I wanted it very special, romantic and memorable, something our grandchildren would still remember.

And here is my idea: I will send out the proposal to Mary to 50 complete strangers, people I don't know - hoping, that they will forward my proposal to as many people as possible, which in turn forward it etc. And some day, I hope, it will reach Mary, after it has travelled a very long way. I know, it will take a long time and I am quite nervous…

From the poem MY Mary will know immediately that the proposal is for her.

I have created a homepage ( http://www.proposal-to-mary.com ) where you can find the current status of my quest. You can use the homepage to check if the proposal has already reached Mary (in that case it is not necessary anymore to forward the mail).

Once the proposal has reached Mary, I will put a note on these pages. Also I will publish there how many people have read the proposal so that everybody can see how far it has spread and that it is getting closer to Mary.

And of course you will find there what I am waiting for most: Mary's answer! I can't tell you, how nervous I am… Will she accept my proposal? Will she like the unusual way how she got it, through the hands of thousands of messengers all over the world?

Please cross your fingers for me! And please - help me by sending the mail to as many people as possible, to help it spread, so that it eventually reaches Mary.

And here is my proposal:

Mary, please forgive me, as you know English is not my native language. And I am not a poet. But I mean it from my heart.

My angel,

Five years ago, I will always remember the day When fate made us meet, blissful Alaskan moments in May Earth spun around us and a journey began Love, warmth, happiness, enough the years to span.

The longer it lasts the more grows our bond And with 80 still - of you I will be fond Whatever happens, I will stay at your side Through good and bad, together let us stride

No second with you was ever wasted
You are the sweetest I have ever tasted
We have spent so many years - why not a life?
Mary, will you marry me - and become my wife?

Mary, if you have received that and have recognized me, then give me a sign so that I can continue with the romantic part of my proposal…

------------- SNIP (email text end) ---------------

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yu

We will to the conclude the Aggoriment

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Raoul Duke

if you've responded to the previous comments, then please feel free to send me some $ as well.

but seriously. i appreciate that compatibility sells, but i do not relish the heck on earth that is the result. i wish people would burn bridges more often.

Eddie Pasternak

and yes C++ compiler's have a cranky streak to them.

Apostrophe's and they're use's.

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