Tuesday, March 13, 2012

tcp/udp programming - C still dominates

In the socket programming space, I feel C still dominates, though java is a contender (but i don't understand why).

Perl and python both provide thin wrappers over the C socket API. (Python's wrapper is a thin OO wrapper.)

Sockets are rather low level /constructs/ and performance-critical -- latency and footprint. OO adds both overheads without adding well-appreciated or much-needed OO nicety. If you need flexibility, consider c++ templates. All modern languages try to encapsulate/wrap the low-level details and present an easier API to upper-layer developers.

Choose one option only between --
AA) If you write tcp/ip code by hand, then you probably don't need OO wrappers in c#, java or python
BB) If you like high-level OO wrappers, then don't bother with raw sockets.

My bias is AA, esp. on Wall St. Strong low-level experience always beats (and often compensates for lack of) upper-layer experience. If you have limited time, invest wisely.

I feel one problems with java is, sockets are low-level "friends" of ints and chars, but java collections need auto-boxing. If you write fast java sockets, you must avoid auto-boxing everywhere.

Q: is java socket based on C api?
A: yes http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12064170/java-net-socket-implementation


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