Re: C or C++?

James Kanze <>
14 May 2007 01:14:00 -0700
On May 13, 3:01 pm, Juha Nieminen <nos...@thanks.invalid> wrote:

Gianni Mariani wrote:

J) In C++, restrict your interface by 'public', 'private' and
'protected' members, in C everything is public.

  In my experience one common difficulty self-taught C programmers,
who haven't learned nor understand object-oriented programming and
the abstraction/modularity related to it, is that they often have
hard time accepting the notion of public member variables being,
in the general case, a bad thing. They just can't understand why
everything can't just be public and why information hiding and
abstraction are a good thing. It often takes long time for them
to finally understand why.

It probably depends on where you learned C. I was a
"self-taught" C programmer, but the usual way I've always seen C
written (even 20 years ago) was to define a struct and a set of
functions to manipulate it, and then to cross your fingers that
no one accessed any of the struct except for your functions. I
adopted C++ originally solely for private---I hadn't the
slightest idea what OO was, and there weren't templates at the
time. Even today, the rest is just icing on the cake.

Encapsulation is essential, regardless of the paradigm.
Otherwise, the code rapidly becomes unmaintainable. That was
true already back before C++ came along.

James Kanze (GABI Software)
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