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The Renaissance That Wasn’t

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

In the thoughtful and well-written article, “The Rise and Fall of Languages in 2012”, Andrew Binstock rightly noted that the C++ renaissance predicted by C++ ISO committee chairman Herb Sutter did not materialize last year. Even though C++ butters my bread and I’m a huge Sutter fan, I have to agree with Mr. Binstock’s assessment:

In fact, I can find no evidence that C++ is breaking into new niches at a pace that will affect the language’s overall numbers. For that to happen, it would need to emerge as a primary language in one of today’s busiest sectors: mobile, or the cloud, or big data. Time will tell, but I feel comfortable projecting that C++ will continue to grow in its traditional niches and will advance at the same rate as those niches grow.

Nevertheless, if you buy into Herb’s prognostication that power consumption and computing efficiency (performance per watt) will overtake programmer productivity as the largest business cost drag in the future, then the C++ renaissance may still be forthcoming. Getting 2X the battery life out of a mobile gadget or a .5X reduction in the cost to run a data center may be the economic ticket that triggers a deeper C++ penetration into what Andrew says are today’s busiest sectors: mobile, the cloud, and big data. However, if the C++ renaissance does occur, it won’t take hold overnight, let alone over the one year that has passed since the C++11 standard was hatched.

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future – Yogi Berra

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A Real Renaissance

November 13, 2012 1 comment

For quite some time now, I’ve been hearing that C++ has been undergoing a resurgence of interest; a renaissance. However, until recently, I couldn’t tell if the claim was real, or just some hype coming out of the C++ community to fruitlessly combat the rise of a plethora of new languages.

Well, I’m convinced that the renaissance is legit. The slides below, pilfered from Herb Sutter‘s “The Future Of C++” talk at Microsoft Build 2012, introduced the formation of a new C++ trade group, the “Standard C++ Foundation“.

Note that there are some big guns with deep pockets backing the foundation along with a cadre of brilliant and dedicated directors at the helm.

It’s a good time to be a C++ programmer, so join the renaissance and start learning the new features and libraries offered up in C++11. Of course, if your technical management is not forward looking and it’s tight with training dollars, you’ll have to do it on your own time, covertly, behind the scenes. But it will not only be fun, it will enhance your marketability.

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