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46 replies on 4 pages. Most recent reply: Jun 30, 2005 1:24 PM by Bruce Eckel

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Isaac Gouy

Posts: 527
Nickname: igouy
Registered: Jul, 2003

Re: Generics "Considered Harmful" Posted: Aug 8, 2005 3:10 PM
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> > It isn't for me to disprove your personal criticism of
> > Wirfs-Brock - it is for you to prove.
> I might argue that you provided the reference to this
> article, at least implying that it was reliable, and so it
> seems that some of the burden might be on you to support
> your claim.

I used Richard Gabriel's comment on type-safety to remind Todd that type-safety is not a synonym for static type safety. You chose to quarrel with a different aspect of that internal email exchange.

> But to address your question, a second (and perhaps more
> glaring) flaw in the article is that in the "clone"
> example the return is by value. It was clear by then that
> this was a hand-waving example, and not one that had ever
> been near a C++ compiler, but if you need more, you can
> observe that in a further snippet a keyword was used as a
> variable name.

You seem to understand that these are incomplete code sketches. Can you find any indication that Wirfs-Brock mistakenly thought this was complete code that would compile? (The elipsis suggest he knew these were incomplete code sketches.)

Could it be that Wirks-Brock used old/new as variable names because those names conveyed the intent behind his example? (You may notice that he also uses 'new' to create an object - so it's quite likely he knew that it was a keyword.)

> > (Of course, we promote intellectual discourse by
> attacking
> > the argument and not the person - we can try to show
> > there's something wrong with Wirfs-Brocks statements
> > without attacking the man.)
> Point taken. Re-reading my comment, I can see that it did
> come across as an attack on him, which was inappropriate.

The comment might be interpreted as a public accusation of professional incompetence - that's not something to be done lightly.

> However, perhaps you can give an example of how to say
> that the article is full of errors without at least
> broaching the subject that the author of the article does
> not understand C++ at the same time that he is pretending
> to analyze and dismiss the language.

Say which specific statements in the text you consider to be factually wrong, and say why you consider them to be wrong. There's no need to say anything about the author.

> I admit that it pushes my buttons when someone does this
> kind of pseudo-analysis and so perhaps I do come across
> strongly.

I'm sorry, what you write is your responsibility.

> But at some point I think it is safe to say that the
> author, at the time he wrote the article, had only a
> passing familiarity with C++, and to dismiss the article
> as unreliable.

There you go again.

Isaac Gouy

Posts: 527
Nickname: igouy
Registered: Jul, 2003

Re: Generics "Considered Harmful" Posted: Aug 8, 2005 3:15 PM
Reply to this message Reply
> > I take the article for what it is. It wasn't about
> > C++.
> Geesh! What am I saying? It wasn't even an article, it
> was a wiki entry.

It wasn't even a wiki entry, it was an internal email exchange that at some later date someone posted on a wiki.

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