Re: Future of C++

James Kanze <>
Sat, 16 Aug 2008 03:04:31 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 16, 1:55 am, Pavel <dot_com_yahoo@paultolk_reverse.yourself>

James Kanze wrote:

On Aug 15, 6:16 am, Pavel <dot_com_yahoo@paultolk_reverse.yourself>

#include <streamline>
#include <string>
using namespace std;
int main(void) {
        string a = "35" + 2;
        cout << a << endl;
    return 0;

Sorry, this was
#include <iostream>
#include <string>
using namespace std;
int main(void) {
         string a = "35" + 2;
         cout << a << endl;
         return 0;}

But I understood what you were getting at. A point where I
agree that C++ has a weakness: pointer arithmetic has no place
at the application level.

It's an interesting point, however, because Java is just as bad
here, and it doesn't have pointer arithmetic.

My point is actually about operator overloading and implicit

Well, they certainly affect the Java version:-). My point was
just that in the C++ version, you don't even get that far before
the unexpected happens, because of pointer arithmetic. Neither
have "expected" behavior. And I don't really see operator
overloading as a problem here, although I agree with you that
too many implicit conversions is a problem; it's the base of the
problem with Java, for example. (Java got rid of some of C++'s
implicit conversions, which is good; but it added some of its
own, which is bad.)

I would be fine with the pointer arithmetic as long as it
could be unambiguously seen from the code that the pointer
arithmetics takes place here and what particular arithmetics.

My example with Java vs C++ vs Python vs Perl just shows that
the expressiveness is far from universal, it is more
subjective. Some people believe concatenation should be done
with operator + (C++, for strings only, Java), some believe it
should be done with ..
(Perl), some (SQL) prefer || (SQL cleverly offers CONCAT() as an
alternative). C++ seems to be the worst here as + can mean all but
anything, without even user-defined overloads.

That's what I said: pointer arithmetic:-). (I don't
particularly like + for concatenation, either. At the very
least, any operator which is overloaded to use + should be
commutative. But + seems to be the de facto standard for
concatenation anyway, from Basic, for example.)

But nobody yet died from typing concatStrings(s1, s2).

Again, it doesn't scale. It doesn't work in more complex

The problem with the overloaded operator here isn't, however,
that they've overloaded + for strings. The real problem is that
other types for which the operator is defined also support +.
So you get unexpected results. (It's a small problem, of
course, compared with all of the rest.) Get rid of pointer
arithmetic, and C++ does the right thing. Get rid of the
conversions of numeric types to string in Java, and the Java
version does the right thing.

James Kanze (GABI Software)
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