C++? Are You Crazy?
About two years ago, programmer Dan Egnor posted to advogato.org with the question, “Why don't C++ and free software mix?” He pointed out that freedom-loving software developers tend to stay away from C++.
But, he added, although C++ is a big complicated language with “terrible pitfalls and simple misfeatures”, it is standardized and offers good flexibility and performance. And, he wrote, “its standard library includes the STL, which knocks the socks off anything available in the C world for power, flexibility and efficiency.”
Or, does C++, as many have argued, represent the worst of both worlds, an infertile middle ground between the simplicity and control of C and the almost-automatic everything of Perl and Python?
Today, though, it might be time for a second look at this much-maligned language. For two big reasons books on standard C++, templates and all, are on my to-read stack above the more tempting ones on the next great scripting languages. First, the tools are good. The C++ support in the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is being actively cleaned up, with binaries getting smaller and version 3.2 offering a stable application binary interface (ABI) that will help with deploying software written in C++.
Besides GCC, a lot of other good tools are available to help with C++, as Cal Erickson points out on page 34. Cal does embedded development and that article is in the Embedded section, but his development strategy—get as much as possible working on your workstation first—means that the article will be useful to any C++ programmer.
Second, new or newly freed C++ projects, such as the Xerces XML parser contributed by IBM, mean that your new C++ code can draw on a lot of already tested, supported functionality. See John Dubchak's article on page 50 for an example. As more corporations start sharing in-house code, corporate technical preferences such as C++ start to be more important on the outside.
If you're looking for a place to apply your software development skills, Len Kaplan has a great one—your local museum. On page 89 he covers the unique challenges and rewards of creating applications for museum exhibits. And, you might pick up some C++ and XML hints from that article, too.
Another school of thought favors doing object-oriented programming in C. For an example of how that is happening in the kernel, see Greg Kroah-Hartman's Driving Me Nuts column on page 28. Your brain is inside your head, so people won't see the stretch marks on it from reading his code.
But speaking of brains, don't worry. We couldn't let the development issue slip by without at least one regular C article, and you'll be happy to know that the performance-critical parts of interpreting the brain waves of the test subject on the cover are in C. Enjoy Sam Clanton's Matlab-to-C porting advice on page 56.
Don Marti is editor in chief of Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Google's SwiftShader Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide