A ProgrammingLanguage developed by BjarneStroustrup as the successor to C, keeping all of its power and flexibility, adding all new disadvantages. It's an almost-superset of its predecessor and adds ObjectOrientation, Templates and NameSpaces.


  • Strict typing so the Compiler picks up more errors.
  • Typesafe generic programming via Templates, and a standard library of them, the STL.
  • NameSpaces to help avoid symbol name collisions between independent pieces of code.
  • Code reuse via ObjectOrientation.
  • iostreams as a replacement for printf(3).


String class

What's the point of a string class if it's not fully compatible char * and is therefor useless for many I/O operations? Eg. you need a character buffer and can't pass a string object to

  • istream::getline(char *, size_t)
  • read(char*, size_t)
  • get(char*, size_t)
  • ... and the list goes on.

Variable interpolation

Interpolating variables into strings is absolutely hideous and easier done by reverting back to C. Compare:

// C way
char buffer[16];
snprintf(buffer,15,"output-%n.txt", counter);

// vs

// C++
strstream ss;
string s;
ss << "output-" << counter << ".txt" ;
ss >> s;

GarbageCollection (not)

Since BjarneStroustrup liked Simula67 but decided GarbageCollection was "too slow", he designed his own perfect language with ObjectOrientation but no GarbageCollection. Quite a few people will readily assume he must have been on crack. Besides having to manage memory yourself, you now have to cope with new syntactic sugar that can conceal which part of your code is responsible for what bits on your heap. Great fun -- really!

Whoever wrote this last paragraph needs to smoke less crack themselves. -- SamJansen


Your compiler will segfault regularly instead of producing error reports when you stuff up a Template definition. When it does produce an error report, it looks like the (drastically snipped down) one below (in this case it's from the STL).

/usr/include/stlport/stl/_hashtable.h: In method `size_t _STL::hashtable<_STL::pair<const CActionHandler::Keycode,void
/usr/include/stlport/stl/_hashtable.c:347:   instantiated from `_STL::hashtable<_STL::pair<const CActionHandler::Keycode,void
CActionHandler::Keycode,void (CActionHandler::)()> >,_STL::equal_to<CActionHandler::Keycode>,_STL::allocator<_STL::pair<const
CActionHandler::Keycode,void (CActionHandler::)()> > >::resize(unsigned int)'
/usr/include/stlport/stl/_hashtable.c:169:   instantiated from `_STL::hashtable<_STL::pair<const CActionHandler::Keycode,void
CActionHandler::Keycode,void (CActionHandler::)()> >,_STL::equal_to<CActionHandler::Keycode>,_STL::allocator<_STL::pair<const
CActionHandler::Keycode,void (CActionHandler::)()> > >::_M_insert(const _STL::pair<const CActionHandler::Keycode,void
(CActionHandler::*)()> &)'
/usr/include/stlport/stl/_hash_map.h:188:   instantiated from here
/usr/include/stlport/stl/_hashtable.h:557: no match for call to `(const _STL::hash<CActionHandler::Keycode>) (const
CActionHandler::Keycode &)'

This is perhaps a good reason to stay away from C++ and program in INTERCAL or PASL. Or maybe Java (see JavaAndC++). Or in something like OCaml, which has parametized types, classes, and modules, covering most if not all the possible uses of C++ Templates in a saner manner.

See also

C++Notes offers hints on C++ and STL constructs if you can't find a better language to program your application in...

CategoryProgrammingLanguages, CategoryImperativeProgrammingLanguages, CategorySystemsProgrammingLanguages, CategoryObjectOrientedProgrammingLanguages, CategoryMachineOrientedProgrammingLanguages