Saturday, December 11, 2004

Back to C++

I have a new job where I'm using C++, so I'm reading Effective C++ by Scott Meyers. This is an awesome book, and should be required reading for all C++ programmers. It's thin and very readable, so there's no excuse!

When I discovered Smalltalk and Java in the mid 90's, I began to be turned off by the complexity of C++. However, I've come to terms with it, realizing that no other popular computer language combines the efficiency and expressive power of C++. The fact remains that it's a difficult language, in which it's easy to create a big mess. Reading and applying Meyers' book is a good safeguard against such messes.

JVM Language Support

Both Edd Dumbill and Ted Leung are excited about Tim Bray's report on a dynamic languages summit that Sun hosted. The report has cool pictures of the heros of the Perl/Parrot/Python/Jython/Groovy worlds, including Larry Wall and Guido van Rossum. (By the way, in the picture of Larry and Guido, both of whom I greatly respect, it occured to me that they're dressed like their languages are designed. I'll leave it at that. ;) Take a look for yourself.)

The report is also interesting to read to get an idea of dynamic programming language implementation issues. There are a few things that Sun could do to the JVM that would make dynamic languages work better. It is also interesting to note that Sun is changing their attitude towards the JVM as a platform not necessarily for the Java language only, no doubt influenced by Microsoft's CLR, and the reality of projects like Jython and Groovy, as well as the presence of Tim Bray as a Sun employee.