Home > C++ > Biased Comparison

Biased Comparison

Let me preface this post by saying what lots of level-headed people (rightly) say: “choose the right tool for the right job“. Ok, having said that, take a quick glance again at the first word in this post’s title, and then let’s move on….

Take a look at the diagram below in terms of flexibility and performance. C++ provides developers with several programming style choices to solve the problem at hand and Java (Smalltalk, Eiffel) “handcuffs” programmers with no choice (in BD00’s twisted mind, Java Generics are clumsy and they destroy the OO purity of Java, and thus, don’t count).

Regarding program performance (<- ya gotta check this interactive site out), there’s “virtually” no way that a Java program running on top of an overhead “middleman” virtual machine can be faster than native code running on the same CPU hardware. Of course, there can be the rare exception where a crappy C++ compiler is pitted against a highly optimized (and over-hyped), “JIT” Java compiler .

Nevertheless, a price has to be paid for increased power and flexibility. And that price is complexity. The “learnability” of C++ is way more time consuming than Java. In addition, although it’s easy to create abominations in any language, it’s far easier to “blow your leg off” using C++ than using Java (or just about any other language except assembler).

Having spewed all this chit, I’d like to return to the quote in this post’s first paragraph: “choose the right tool for the right job“. Seriously consider using C++ for jobs like device drivers, embedded real-time systems, operating systems, virtual machines, and other code that needs to use hardware directly. Use Java, or even simpler languages, for web sites and enterprise IT systems.

The main weakness of OOP is that too many people try to force too many problems into a hierarchical mould. Not every program should be object-oriented. As alternatives, consider plain classes, generic programming, and free-standing functions (as in math, C, and Fortran). – Bjarne Stroustrup

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: