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The Most Important C++ People...Ever

36 replies on 3 pages. Most recent reply: May 17, 2009 8:31 PM by Sean Corfield

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Todd Blanchard

Posts: 316
Nickname: tblanchard
Registered: May, 2003

Re: The Most Important C++ People...Ever Posted: Sep 5, 2006 1:35 PM
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>If you think the book is important why not ask candidates questions based on the content

I was being (slightly) flip.

Still, the book was a major milestone and remains important today for C++ developers.

Glenn Puchtel

Posts: 5
Nickname: gpuchtel
Registered: Aug, 2006

Re: The Most Important C++ People...Ever Posted: Sep 6, 2006 2:41 PM
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Given a language, any language, natural and computer alike, one can write obfuscated text. To cite an obscure construct as evidence against using a language somehow seems petty; however, it’s interesting to witness the passion. Since this article is about people, it’s understandable that the passion is somewhat more personal.

I have never met Scott, but I’ve read his books and one would be hard-pressed to find a more humble author and I suspect, person as well. If I ever wrote another book, I’d certainly try to imitate Scott’s style and voice. I’m puzzled that omitting oneself somehow constitutes humility however. Furthermore, it seems forgotten (or at least unmentioned) that Scott spoke to this very point at the beginning of the series.

I find this series enlightening and accept it at face value; light and entertaining material, I learned something too. I am especially appreciative that Bjarne took time to post his thoughts and list as well, which is extensive to say the least. It’s especially interesting to get insight who Bjarne thinks the pioneers of C++ are. It would be interesting to hear opinions from those pioneers as well.

Looking at Bjarne’s list, I can’t help but reflect on my military background where for every person I’ve seen recognized, (on a list so-to-speak) there were countless unknown or unsung heroes, but that is not the point of the article is it? Then again, one would be correct in pointing out that this only my opinion and probably one of passion as well.

Thanks Scott (et al) for contributing, sharing your opinion and providing a forum to share ours, even at the risk of ridicule.

Lance Diduck

Posts: 1
Nickname: enkidu
Registered: Dec, 2006

Re: The Most Important C++ People...Ever Posted: Dec 8, 2006 4:01 PM
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I think the Who's Who is a better idea -- the vast majority of C++ contributors do not have the time nor inclination to be excellent technical writers, which seems to be the main criteria for the article's choices. Dr. Stroustrup's list was a little more rounded, and the idea of a Who's Who is probably more tenable than a C++ A-list.
What seems to be off of all the lists mentioned are the numerous project managers, architects, engineers, developers, corporations, students and teachers who continue to invest in C++. The fact is that many of these users, because they are challenged by real world systems that must pay their real world bills, have made significant contributions. They have put their money where their mouth is. They just aren't as good at marketing themselves as the few who pontificate about C++.
As someone who works with hundreds of C++ developers, I can attest that very few actually work through books and articles -- they learn C++ by downloading compilers and libraries, their managers insisting that they learn C++, take already working programs and learning to modify them, all the while plying the local C++ guru with tons of questions. If they had to start with a blank makefile, and a shelf full of C++ books on the latest C++ innovations, and a manager not sure of the benefit of the language, they would get nowhere.

C++ is a great achievement, and my favorite language. But these lists missed a LOT of people, who just don’t keep the same social circles:
Ira Forman – C++ metaobjects and integration with SOM
Don Box, Richard Grimes: authors on C++/COM integration
(above authors VERY important in understanding paths toward a C++ “ABI”)
Angelika Langer – finally explained streams and locales
Matthew Wilson -- STLSoft and author
Michael Markov, Thomas Becker, Thomas Keffer – C++ numerics, financial analysis

Numerous unknown writers of commercial and open source libraries, such as MFC, ATL, Apache, and such.

Perhaps a Notable Achievements List is more fitting than a C++ Society Register?

Hector Santos

Posts: 6
Nickname: hector
Registered: May, 2007

Re: The Most Important C++ People...Ever Posted: May 6, 2007 3:06 PM
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I know its 5 months later - but I just joined this "BBS."

My important C++ "people and things" is who must influenced my development over the years, as well as for thousands, if not millions of other developers:

- Borland with their IDEs, ok, Microsoft too with its early "Programmers Workshop"

- Turbo Power with its C++ Libraries for DOS

- Of course, K&R

- Bruce Eckel, with C++ Inside & Out

- Charles Petzoid, but I believe he was mostly C, if that counts, and I still carry a chip for him stealing and porting my Pascal DOS TREE display utility to ASM. I did get the $50 prize from PCMAG though. :-)

- and a few other book authors on C++, hell, even "The C++ for Dummies" give me a few subtle pointers.

- All the early Online support forums and newsgroups; the CompuServes, the Prodigies, the newsgroups, etcs, where you can get answers and also be part of fielding questions and helping others. There were many characters in the C/C++ programming fora, such as DR. DEBUG, probably one of most recognized "Programming Support" people around on the early Fidonet Networks (predating the public Internet) for a time when getting answers was not as easy as doing a GOOGLE search and getting thousands of hits from around the world.

IMO, as far as people, this is probably best left for the people in the "book and print" trade to recognize themselves. Ask the average joe smoe developer and he can mostly likely only cite 3-4 people and things that help him.

I know it was a day late, but probably the better title for this article would of been "The most important C++ people who influence me." That was pretty much what Scott was expressing, in my opinion.


Miles Whitener

Posts: 5
Nickname: mwhitener
Registered: Nov, 2007

Re: The Most Important C++ People...Ever Posted: Nov 9, 2007 8:19 AM
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Greg Comeau

Louw Badenhorst

Posts: 1
Nickname: louw
Registered: Oct, 2008

Re: The Most Important C++ People...Ever Posted: Oct 28, 2008 6:36 AM
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name the 5 most important writers of the english language ever (go ask harold bloom)
name the 5 greatest physicists ever
name the 5 most stunning actors
or chess players
or boxers (when ali told us we all listened)
or composers
or the 5 most important C++ people EVER, etc. etc.

so why should anyone care? why is this so important?

regarding C++ and scott meyers' article and the 5 most important c++ people EVER: if the point of all this
(or such a list) is to learn more about the invention of the c++ language, about who and what shaped it
and to learn more about the language itself, its history and evolution/revolution or the different techniques
that make powerful programmers, why exclude inventors (such as Stepanov), people who did shape the language
and whose contribution was more than a popularized or educational copy of others and without whose contribution
c++ would not have been the language it is today?

Louw Badenhorst

Sean Corfield

Posts: 1
Nickname: sacorfield
Registered: May, 2009

Re: The Most Important C++ People...Ever Posted: May 17, 2009 8:31 PM
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> The most important woman missing from all of these lists
> is Josée Lajoie.

A friend recently pointed me to this thread (I've been away from C++ for about ten years now). I was flattered to see my name on Bjarne's list and Josée was the immediate exception that sprang to my mind. Josée chaired one of the core language groups and was instrumental in getting a level of clarity in the C++ standard that has benefited everyone since.

So many people contributed that any lists are always going to omit important contributors. It was a pleasure working with so many fine minds and being able to point back to an impressive achievement and be proud of having worked on it.

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