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Re: mailbox (was Re: intro)

From: Sergey Poznyakoff
Subject: Re: mailbox (was Re: intro)
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2002 21:41:02 +0200

> But something that you forgot .. how many people know C++?
> Ok those on the list that understand(can code with C++) speak
> loudly .... The silence is deathning.

No, not at all. I know C++ and was working pretty actively in some
projects that were using it, and my silence is just due to the fact
that I understood C++ is not a panacea as well and have heard such
discussions before :^) In spite of its being more strictly standardized
than C, C++ usually poses much more compatibility problems.
"Standards are a good thing, for you can always choose the one you
prefer", said someone and that seems to be particularly true regarding
different C++ compilers. Besides, there exists a strong mutual
dependence: 'way of thinking' <=> 'spoken language' which is true for
programming languages as well as for natural ones. In case of
programming languages, that means that one is always tempted to use
approaches that seem more effective in that given language. But that
does not necessarily mean they are effective in the code the compiler
produces. Having spent much time programming in the Lisp, I understand
you, Alain, when you say: 'It felt funny after doing Java for so long
to call (free) and to play with pointers.' It really feels funny after
Lisp with its garbage collectors and other attractive features, but
usually memory management (and not only memory management) controlled
by programmer is much effective than that controlled by

OK, that all seems to become a philosophical essay, so I'd better
stop here. Anyway, I've said it -- I feel better :^) Let's return
to the ... meat of the matter :^)

Both C and C++ have their pros and their contras. The reality is that
neither is perfect and that many programs are written in C (and many
will be written in it, I believe) and other many are written in C++.
Mailutils could facilitate writing of those working with email. It
would be a Good Thing if it could provide both C and C++ interfaces.
As Alain has pointed out, usually this is achieved by writing a C++
interface to the C API. Doing it other way around is possible but
imposes many problems and difficulties. Portability issues should not
be forgotten, also. So, my proposition is to provide a very good
C API, and build other interfaces (Scheme, C++, Perl, whatever) on
top of it.

(Sorry for being so verbose)


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