"Thriving in a Crowded and Changing World" - Bjarne Stroustrup

Maybe interesting not just for C++ fans (or haters), but how things develop over time and how to react (or not react) to changes in HW etc. Lessons learned ... for the evolution of programming languages (in general) ...

Publication: Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages June 2020 Article No.: 70



Finished reading, it's super interesting, thanks a lot for the link! You might want to post it to https://internals.rust-lang.org/ as well, it is very relevant.

Also, warning for future readers -- the "paper" is longer than you might expect.


C++ is an amazing feat of software engineering.

I liken it to a cathedral, exquisite architecture built by skilled crafts men. Added to over hundreds of years resulting in the magnificent buildings we see today. A fractal of complex detail and interesting features.

Only one problem. It took so long to build that there are few people around that believe the religion that inspired it anymore.

Please may this feature creep and ever greater complexity never happen to Rust.

Only the future will tell, but I do hope so as well. I'm more on the C++ hater side, because I do use it for a long time, but I also ran into many problems over time and I was always hoping for a "cleanup", which (I guess) is really a problem if you stick to

Don’t break my code!

Just think about changing the demangler (which happened) and not having the source code of a library you use. You end up with either sticking to a very old compiler version (just so you can link against the old lib) or you have to fight with the provider of that library to update to a special/the latest compiler version. Or you end up re-writing that library yourself, just to maintain it. Anyway, maybe not the best example, but things like that happened a lot over the lifetime of C++ and frustrated many. Good for Rust, but lets talk in 20/30 years (if we are still around) how well the language coped with changes. So far so good, I would say ... I wanted the Rust team to be at least aware of the mistakes (or maybe even some success stories) made in other languages (which I guess they are aware anyway) ...

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