httpd-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Ben Laurie <>
Subject Re: Apache++
Date Sun, 17 May 1998 14:11:06 GMT
Ron O'Hara wrote:
> On Sat, 16 May 1998, Ben Laurie wrote:
> > Ron O'Hara wrote:
> > >
> > > Ben,
> > >
> > > My uncolicited comment on the C++ v/s C question is this.
> > >
> > > Try to get a head count (rough estimate) of the people who can
> > > read/inspect/debug code written in C++ and in C.
> > >
> > > I dont have any numbers but it's a safe bet that 'C' programmers are more
> > > plentiful - after all, all C++ programmers can write C, but the reverse is
> > > not true.
> > >
> > > The size of the developer/review population is an important element in any
> > > Open Source project.
> > >
> > > Proposing the use of C++ is proposing a reduction in the manpower
> > > available to support Apache.. This directly undermines one of the main
> > > strengths behind the development method of the Apache group.
> > >
> > > For my $0.02, thats a bad idea. It outweighs any technical advantage of
> > > one language over another.
> >
> > If I were to buy that argument I'd be forced to suggest we write Apache
> > in Visual Basic or Perl.
> >
> > I certainly agree that the number of people who can read and write the
> > code is important, but it isn't the only factor.
> >
> > I would also argue that only the core C++ needs truly competent C++
> > programmers. Stuff around the edges can be done by those who are not
> > completely au fait with C++, just as already happens with C.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Ben.
> Aw... really - VB or Perl...not technically suitable for high performance
> tuned system level stuff like Apache.

Ah, right, so when you said "it outweighs any technical advantage of one
language over another", that wasn't really what you meant, right? So
what did you mean?

> I dont dispute many of the arguments you present for C++ over C from a
> technical perspective. I just make the point that in the tools available
> for building Apache, C is the lowest common denominator. It is powerful
> (and fragile), and has the widest 'people' support.
> As you know changing any basic tactic in an established product is only
> achieved with a degree of pain. Look at the symbol hiding changes (which I
> personally needed) - its a good change but will cause lots of grief when
> 1.3.0 is released. I'm still working on the impact to the modules I have.
> A shift to C++ would cause even more pain. I for one have resisted bending
> my head around C++ for years...just too much effort for little return in
> my busy day. (Ok, so I can read/write it if needed - but uggh, which class
> libraries was that code written with ?)

This doesn't surprise me. Everyone I know who thinks C++ is a waste of
time doesn't actually know how to write C++. And, strangely, everyone I
know who can write C++ thinks it is a large improvement over C.

> The result of any change to C++ would be to drag the public (programmer)
> support down a bit. Lots of people will take my view - and not bother with
> trying to get a grip on a new core source tree. That means that the review
> process will be weakened - a fundamentally bad idea for the project, even
> if the technical foundation is theoretically (or actually) stronger.
> Still only my $0.02 - but probably shared by good percentage of the Apache
> users around the world. My key point is that the peer review element is
> one of the powerful components that makes Apache (and Linux, PostgreSQL
> etc) work well. Weakening that for technical arguments that are not 'show
> stoppers' is a bad idea.

If this were really the way of the world we'd all still be programming
in assembler, there'd be no operating systems, the Internet wouldn't
exist, yadda yadda.



Ben Laurie            |Phone: +44 (181) 735 0686|  Apache Group member
Freelance Consultant  |Fax:   +44 (181) 735 0689|
and Technical Director|Email: |
A.L. Digital Ltd,     |Apache-SSL author
London, England.      |"Apache: TDG"

View raw message