Interview with Stroustrup

Peter-Henry Mander erlang@REDACTED
Thu Sep 18 09:51:05 CEST 2003

Hi Gurus,

I'm only posting this out of malice (-:

It's curious to read that Bjarn is, from an Erlang point of view at 
least, trying to reinvent the wheel wrt distributed computing.

Having pretty much dropped C++ in favour of Erlang due to the vast 
simplification of code for most of my work, I find this mildly amusing.

Can anyone with code-credibility steer Bjarn toward Erlang? He may 
appreciate a working example.



"LJ:If it's not a secret, what do you research at your job?

"BS: [...] I wanted to write a small program than needed to run with 
parts being on several computers. Conventionally, I'd have to write that 
program so the communication methods were explicit in the program. For 
example, if I used CORBA, my code would contain CORBA calls and I'd need 
to write IDL for the types I wanted to communicate between the parts of 
my program. If, on the other hand, I wanted the communication to use 
TCP/IP directly, my code would be full of TCP/IP library calls. Instead, 
I wrote a program where the communication between the parts were 
represented by ordinary C++ member function calls. If the object to be 
called was local, I directly called members of class X; if not, I called 
the same members of class proxy. Using a library with facilities for C++ 
program transformation, I then automatically converted the calls of 
proxy into message sent across a TCP/IP connection or, alternatively, to 
CORBA calls.


"LJ: What languages do you think are serious competitors to C++?

"BS: That depend on the application. Sometime C++ is the best choice; at 
other times there are reasons to prefer a language such as Fortran, 
Java, C# or Python. And yet other times, one could use a more 
experimental language just to learn something new. There are many 
languages that are good for what they are designed for, and it is a 
mistake to rely solely on one language. On the other hand, competition 
is often based on marketing and perceptions rather than facts, and I'm 
not going to comment on that."

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