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Ready, Aim, Fire!

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I got distracted this week by a couple of thread in General Programming. The first was my c++ d c# benchmark, particularly the links to the Language Shootout. I think benchmarking languages is a fairly nonsensical concept, even benchmarking language implementations. Do you benchmark the speed of the compiled code? Time to write it? Do you have programmers of equal experience and ability in each language? To prove this point I decided I would participate in the Language Shootout and try to get C++ to within 101% of the execution time of the first placed program in every benchmark.

A couple of abortive attempts using the MinGW port of GCC 3.3.1 and trying to extrapolate how much of an optimisation my various changes would be under GCC 4.1.1 led me to finally think again about installing a *nix variant on my computer. I've had half of my hard disk unpartitioned since I got this computer nearly three years ago. The intent was always to put a *nix on it, but I never got around to it. I still haven't. Instead I downloaded and burned a Gentoo LiveCD (Gentoo because that's one of the *nix variants used by the Language Shootout). I've come to the conclusion that LiveCDs are pretty awesome. The ability to boot a modern OS without a harddrive is just plain fun. As to the Shootout, well, my mission could take a while.

The other thread I got distracted by was Why do [some] people end up despising c++? limits of c++?. I must confess I don't really understand the apparent sudden shift away from C++. There are certainly some good points made as to weaknesses of C++ in that thread, but I personally don't find them to be significant problems. I rarely run into issues in my day-to-day use of C++ that are the fault of the language. Yes, the compilation model with header files is archaic, but it doesn't hinder me at all. I'm quite happy to admit to being a C++ fanboi. I've tried a number of languages and C++ just fits my way of thinking best. Perhaps I'm just odd and other people really are having serious issues using C++ to solve real problems.

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I couldn't agree more with you about the comparison of languages and the C++ stuff.

It was last Friday that someone said that C++ was bad, because it didn't support proper OOP and AOP (Aspect Oriented Programming). I asked him what language he used and thought was better for both of them, and he said Java.
I couldn't stop laughing for the next 2 minutes.

I then said that I would rather give up whatever advantage Java has for both of them if I didn't have to rely on third party language additions (not libraries, but parser additons) like AspectJ (in contrast, I find it is very possible to create a very easy to use AOP library in C++), or to be forced into using a way of thinking and doing (in Java, you need to use OOP, as if it's the holy grail, sure, you can do non OOP, but that would be like writing OOP in C, not C-with-Classes or Objective-C). He then said that C++ didn't support overriding of functions in inheritance. And I laughed again for a while. I said: "I guess the next item is that C++ doesn't support generics". He was a bit distraught that I guessed that.

Yes, I'm a C++ devotee.:P
Though I really like Python as well.

And yes, I've spend some time on trying to get him to see his folly.

Though, more importantly, what I don't understand is, how did you manage to keep half of your HDD unpartitioned? I'm suffering from chronic HDD space shortage (and the lack of funds to buy an extra HDD, I'm actually saving for a new comp). :P

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Will F: Interesting link(s). Thanks for that. I didn't realise there was a free version of VMware. I have thought about investigating PC VM emulators but, like so many things, never got around to it. I think for now while I'm benchmarking stuff I'll stick to a LiveCD rather than having an extra OS and VM running simultaneously. Next time I need to do anything in *nix though I'll try and remember to look that up again.

Rob Loach: How do I manage it? I decided that was what I was going to do, simple as that. It does help that I have a mod team meeting on a Sunday night, so I write my journal entries during/after that. Plus, it's only been seven weeks. I'm sure I'll miss a week soon enough.

mldaalder: I'm not much of a gamer (I think I've bought two games in the last four years), don't listen to much music and source code doesn't take up much harddisk space. That's how I've managed to keep half a harddrive unpartitioned [lol]


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