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The Evolution of C++ Language Design in the Marketplace of Ideas cover
  • ISBN: 9780262731072
  • ISBN10: 026273107X

The Evolution of C++ Language Design in the Marketplace of Ideas

by Jim Waldo

  • List Price: $32.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Mit Pr
  • Publish date: 08/01/1993
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Unlike most programming languages that were designed by an identifiable individual or research group, C++ developed in response to open debate among the community of users of the language. Bringing together the main articles that presented the design alternatives in that debate, "The Evolution of C++ explores the underlying concepts of this exceedingly popular language, explaining why C++ looks and behaves the way it does.

From a commercial standpoint, C++ combines the best of two worlds: it is object oriented and it is a version of C, the single most popular programming language for microcomputers. Originally developed by Bjarne Stroustrup and others at AT&T Bell Labs during the mid 1980s, C++ evolved further in response to the real and perceived needs of its users.

Part I chronicles the early days of C++, beginning with what, from the original Santa Fe workshop, looked like a great new object-oriented language with a straightforward future. The next four parts are organized around major debates that developed later about such added features as multiple inheritance, exception handling, runtime typing, and distributed computing.

In his postscript, Waldo notes that in the process of evolving through "the marketplace of ideas, " a clearly articulated, generally accepted design center for the language has been lost. Although C++ has adapted to the changing environment of the increasing number of users, there is at present no common agreement about what it should or should not do in the future.

Jim Waldo is Senior Staff Engineer at Sun Microsystems Laboratories.
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