From: Roy Smith on 4 Aug 2010 00:00
sturlamolden <sturlamolden(a)yahoo.no> wrote:
> On 4 Aug, 04:41, Grant Edwards <inva...(a)invalid.invalid> wrote:
> > The issue that would prevent its use where I work is the inability to
> > hire anybody who knows Ada. �You can't hire anybody who knows C++
> > either, but you can hire lots of people who claim they do. �
> That is very true.
I suspect there are less than 100 people in the world who "know C++" in
the sense that they know every feature, every detail, every quirk.
These are the people who sit on the standards committee, write the books
we all buy, etc.
There are, however, a lot of people who know a large enough subset of
C++ to be productive and to write effective, safe, quality code within
those boundaries. These people know what they don't know and either
avoid using those features, or know where (and when) to look it up. I
put myself in that camp.
The problem is, there are also a very large number of people who put
"expert C++" on their resumes and know just enough to be dangerous.
The real problem is that it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between
the members of the latter two groups in an interview.
From: Lawrence D'Oliveiro on 4 Aug 2010 01:36
In message <7xmxt3uo4h.fsf(a)ruckus.brouhaha.com>, Paul Rubin wrote:
> It's more verbose than C, so coding in it takes more keystrokes, but it
> looks to me like the general coding approach (modulo the extra keystrokes)
> should be similar to that of C, Algol, and so on, and the results should
> be quite a bit more reliable.
I believe the life-support software on the International Space Station is
written in Ada. Would anybody feel happier if that had been done in C++?
From: Lawrence D'Oliveiro on 4 Aug 2010 01:44
In message <i3ajvt$935$1(a)reader1.panix.com>, Grant Edwards wrote:
> That said, the last time I looked the Ada spec was only something like
> 100 pages long, so a case could be made that it won't take long to
> learn. I don't know how long the C++ language spec is, but I'm
> betting it's closer to 1000 than 100.
I have a copy of “The C++ Standard (Incorporating Technical Corrigendum No.
1)” on my bookshelf. Let's see ... flip-flip ... the highest page number is
782. Definitely closer to 1000 than 100.
As for Ada ... I don't have any printed manual, but
dpkg-query -L ada-reference-manual | grep -c html/aarm95tc1
counts 353 HTML pages for the annotated reference.
I found it fairly tedious to read the lot. But then, I didn't even try to do
that with the C++ spec...
From: Lawrence D'Oliveiro on 4 Aug 2010 01:45
In message <roy-00F9BF.00004104082010(a)news.panix.com>, Roy Smith wrote:
> There are, however, a lot of people who know a large enough subset of
> C++ to be productive ...
I think there are some language features, knowledge of which has a negative
impact on productivity. :)
From: Paul Rubin on 4 Aug 2010 01:58
Lawrence D'Oliveiro <ldo(a)geek-central.gen.new_zealand> writes:
> I believe the life-support software on the International Space Station is
> written in Ada. Would anybody feel happier if that had been done in C++?
Take a look at the articles on C bug-finding on Dawson Engler's page:
They are about tools that found 100's of bugs in various large C
programs including Linux and OpenBSD. Most of those bugs would probably
not have been possible in Ada. Program bugs are generally either subtle
errors or dumb ones. Humans always will make dumb errors from time to
time, and C does almost nothing to prevent them (C++ used properly is
somewhat better). Ada doesn't prevent the subtle ones but appears much
better than C or C++ at preventing the dumb kind.
I'm not sure what the hiring issue is. I think anyone skilled in C++ or
Java can pick up Ada pretty easily. It's mostly a subset of C++ with
different surface syntax.