CppCon 2016: extern c: Talking to C Programmers about C++—Dan Saks

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Have you registered for CppCon 2017 in September? Don’t delay – Registration is open now.

While we wait for this year’s event, we’re featuring videos of some of the 100+ talks from CppCon 2016 for you to enjoy. Here is today’s feature:

extern c: Talking to C Programmers about C++

by Dan Saks

(watch on YouTube) (watch on Channel 9)

Summary of the talk:

Most of us have heard this story. We’ve even told it ourselves…

C++ is nearly all of C, plus a whole lot more. Migrating code from C to C++ is pretty easy. Moreover, the migration itself can yield immediate benefits by exposing questionable type conversions that can be sources of latent bugs. After migration, the code performs as well in C++ as in the original C. And now that it’s C++, you have ready access to a wealth of advanced features you can (but don’t have to) use to implement enhancements.

Who wouldn’t want that? Legions of C programmers, apparently.

Despite the success of C++ in numerous application domains, C remains considerably more popular, especially in embedded, automotive, and aerospace applications. In many cases, projects resist C++ because their managers think the risks outweigh the benefits. In other cases, the resistance comes from programmers who persist in believing bad things about C++, even when those things aren’t true.

What can the C++ community do to overcome this resistance? Drawing on lessons from cognitive science, linguistics and psychology, and (of course) computer science, this talk offers suggestions about how to make the case for C++ more persuasive to C programmers.

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