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Bjarne Stroustrup Expounds on Concepts and the Future of C++

Aug 08, 2009, 15:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Danny Kalev)

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"You mean from the decision not to ship concepts more or less as is for C++0x? I am not of the opinion that concepts have failed. My position was that we needed only a few weeks to "fix" what in my opinion were serious usability problems. Obviously, a majority of the committee didn't agree with that timescale. But just about everyone I talked to expressed support for the idea of concepts and I had to warn against over-optimism about the timescale to get concepts back once they were removed from the working paper. There is a significant difference between "failure" and "not being ready to become the standard for millions of programmers."

"The power needed to propel a pebble across town will barely move a boulder. However, moving the boulder may have huge benefits, whereas nobody cares where the pebble lands (unless it is in your shoe). In other words, making a change to C++, which is large and in major real-world use, is hard but offers the possibility of helping millions of programmers. Thus, I consider trying to improve C++ worthwhile despite the required effort and occasional setbacks.

"How do I feel? Disappointed, but not crushed. Things could have been much worse. In particular, we could have made the seriously flawed "concepts" part of the standard.

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