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Most of us have heard this story. We’ve even told it ourselves…
C++ is nearly all of C, plus a whole lot more. Migrating code from C to C++ is pretty easy. Moreover, the migration itself can yield immediate benefits by exposing questionable type conversions that can be sources of latent bugs. After migration, the code performs as well in C++ as in the original C. And now that it’s C++, you have ready access to a wealth of advanced features you can (but don’t have to) use to implement enhancements.
Who wouldn’t want that? Legions of C programmers, apparently.
Despite the success of C++ in numerous application domains, C remains considerably more popular, especially in embedded, automotive, and aerospace applications. In many cases, projects resist C++ because their managers think the risks outweigh the benefits. In other cases, the resistance comes from programmers who persist in believing bad things about C++, even when those things aren’t true.
What can the C++ community do to overcome this resistance? Drawing on lessons from cognitive science, linguistics and psychology, and (of course) computer science, this talk offers suggestions about how to make the case for C++ more persuasive to C programmers.
Dan Saks is the president of Saks & Associates, which offers training and consulting in C and C++ and their use in developing embedded systems. Dan used to write the “Programming Pointers” column for embedded.com online. He has also written columns for numerous print publications including The C/C++ Users Journal, The C++ Report, Software Development, and Embedded Systems Design. With Thomas Plum, he wrote C++ Programming Guidelines, which won a 1992 Computer Language Magazine Productivity Award. Dan has taught C and C++ to thousands of programmers around the world. He has presented at conferences such as Software Development, Embedded Systems, and C++ World. He has served on the advisory boards of the Embedded Systems and Software Development conferences. Dan served as secretary of the ANSI and ISO C++ Standards committees and as a member of the ANSI C Standards committee. More recently, he contributed to the CERT Secure C Coding Standard and the CERT Secure C++ Coding Standard.
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