Wednesday, July 14, 2010

what C/C++ can do but Java can't?

See also post on c++ vs real time jvm.
* java generics has non-trivial limitations. c++ generics is more complete IMHO. Some say c++ generics leads to code bloat but it's not intuitive to me.
* I believe some financial packages were written for C/C++. On the other hand, some packages might be written for java.
* c/c++ api are more easily usable across by java, dotnet and Excel
* Function pointers. Java has Method objects (and interfaces), but not widely used.
* operator overloading
* preprocessor is mighty. I feel java has some code generators but not popular.
* JVM and java compiler is written in c/c++, on most OS versions.
* A large part of windows was written in C++ and C.
* Most OS system API is in C. C++ can easily call them.
* most shell utilities in Unix and Windows are written in C/C++. Java is too slow and bulky. To run a simple grep, (I guess) you need to start a JVM.
* Most database engines are probably written in C/C++. If for any reason you want to build your own database engine then c++ is probably better than java.
* fastest web servers are in c/c++.
* Here’s one last thing c++ can provide, but this is my personal view. C++ knowledge, if deep enough, provides some kind of window (from a lower angle) into the performance limitations/strengths of java and c#. This insight is valuable but hard to achieve if I only know java.

I don’t know the details, but a large part of c++ power comes from pointers. 

Java/c# are high-level languages. c/c++ are mid-level languages; while assembly is truly low-level. Some requirements (DB, OS, system utilities, compiler…) are best implemented in mid-level languages. Do financial apps fall into that category? I don’t think so, that’s why C++ is severely challenged by java and C#.

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