Saturday, October 23, 2004

I hate C++

I hate C++, no, really. I've been a C++ fan since I started programming in 1991 and learned about it from a friend, Brian McDonnell, who worked on CLIPS for NASA and was a big OOP fan. It was the first language I learned (in tandem with "C") by mistaking the ARM for a more complete textbook ("annotated") rather than the compiler-writer's guide that it was. And that led to the dragon book as my third computer science text. A rough way to start, but very fun, and Larry Wall is spot on about the value of hubris.

Enough about me.

What happened to the joy of C++? And wasn't the moo book a gas? Clearly I enjoy the stuff. But now I hate C++. The explanation is easy: tools.

After a solid year of Java at its finest, returning to C++ and no good unit test libraries (cppunit being about it), no mock objects, no IDEA or decent Eclipse support, no ant or maven, no good coverage tools, no good code analysis, no good dependency analysis on and on and on. Tools make the programmer. And C++ has dog food for tools compared to the wealth of open-source projects for Java. Now that I'm working on a C++ project, my development efforts are at least doubled for the same work, and I continually feel that I am leaving imporant parts of best practices out of the picture. Nor does it look like that's about to change anytime.

And that is why I hate C++. Goodbye, dear friend.

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