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Heros of the past: Bjarne Stroustrup

December 9, 2006

C++ prgrogrammers are supposed to be adults and need a minimum of nannyism
Bjarne Stroustrup, Design and Evolution of the C++ Programming language

i stumbled upon an interview with bjarne stroutstrup today, heros of my past. oh well, what can i say, such a long time ago. i started C++ in 1988 by reading the C++ annotated reference manual. We just called it the ARM. For years it was a bible for me. Page 168 a bizarre feature was described: "call by representation", not by value, not by reference, by representation.  Anyone still knows what that is? Today i'm ruby promoter by all my heart but back then i could hardly imagine ever having a need for somethings else than C++. well, things are changing. Bjarne talks a lot about freedom of choice, maybe that is what got me so hooked on C++ back than. And now for all their difference, i see the similarities of C++ and Ruby. We allways said, you can shoot yourself into the foot with C++ easily, and this actually means freedom for me. Beeing able to do really bad to yourself, beeing in charge and having responsibilty for what you are doing. No nannyism. period. Ruby is the same. You can really mess up things, easily. So, young programmers of the world, go out and have a lock on what the old guys wrote, Design and Evolution of the C++ Programming Language is a great book. Understanding why things are there for a reason makes you a better programmer in any language.

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