What I like about Linux and C++

Some time ago I worked in a team with a guy who liked programming in Java. Really like it, to the point where the weaknesess of the language were all in his blindspot. I did the only sensible thing a guy like me can do, sent him a mail stating that the lack of closures in Java would doom the language as soon as C++0X comes out.

That is not really my opinion but it sure served my pourpose. Trolling. Obviously I recieved a three page email back, explaining why adopting closures as part of the Java specification was irrelevant due the use of inner classes (?) or something like that, I don’t remember now. MountainTroll

I must admit this was not my first time trolling around a language zealot (and it IS fun, let me say it) may this post serve as a public apollogy for those who have suffered it.

What was that long introduction for? There are lots of religious wars amongst programmers. Vim vs emacs, Windows vs Linux, tabs vs spaces. We all know (Vim, Linux, tabs) what are the best options, but fighting is still fun and with due respect for each other quite healthy.

CW Turbo Tank

It’s difficult to distinguish when “religious fantatism” for a tecnology overcomes pragmatism, making a task much more difficult than it should, instead of simplifing it, because of the use of a specific tool. Take for example watching a movie in console mode. Kudos to whoever can do it, I have better things to do in my spare time.

How does all this relate to Linux, C++ and programming in my twisted mind? What I’ve noticed about (most) people using C++ and GNU/Linux as a working platform is that we are always complaining. No, I don’t mean we’re grumpy old dinosaurs (altought you can certainly find a fair share of those too) but you tend to meet people who are much more aware of the limitations they platform of choice has.

678grumpy-posters In my years as a programmer I’ve worked with PHP, Java, .NET, Ruby, Linux, Windows, etc. From all these platforms I could say I found people truly offended when told their platform sucks. Most, if not all, C+++Linux (lol, ain’t I smart?) programmers I’ve found so far have one thing in common: they (we) all know both Linux AND C++ suck. They suck hard, C++ syntax is messy, Linux has configuration and portability problems, pointers will screw you at any chance. But we know this.

Far more important than actually choosing the perfect OS, the perfect language, the perfect whatever, choose what better fits your skills and your team, then know your limitations by hearth. It’ll save you lots of trouble.

PS: I like the new category, “Grumpy”. Here I’ll post all kind of rants and subjective opinions I feel like posting.


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