Re: What's new in C?
Cal Dershowitz wrote:
> There seemed to be a significant numbers of individuals and companies
> who were just going to keep on working with C90, while others and I went
> toward C99.
C99 is perfectly fine, and although there weren't any revolutionary changes,
and arguably it didn't introduced any change which was absolutely necessary,
the ones it introduced were all, in general, useful and welcomed.
The one change which has been widely criticised was the infamous support
for variable-length arrays (VLAs). Personally, at first, I thought that
VLAs represented a problem waiting to happen, but once we look into it we
are forced to acknowledge that essentially the problems they pose aren't any
different from the ones which were already caused by fixed-size arrays. So,
either VLAs aren't that bad, or we are forced to assume that the C
programming language is broken by design since the K&R days, which wouldn't
be a reasonable assumption.
In spite of this, I'm one of those individuals who keeps on working with
C90, and that has nothing to do with the programming language itself, and
everything to do with Microsoft's unwillingness to support any other version
of C beyond their weird implementation of C90 .
As an example, I've started a small pet project (a small C library, FLOSS
license) a few years ago. It started off as a C99 project, but once it
started do get off the ground, I started to receive requests to remove C99
features and to make it a C90-compliant project. Those users claimed they
actually wanted to use the library as it was released but, as they were
forced to use Microsoft's Visual Studio, as it didn't provided proper
support for the C programming language, they weren't able to build the
library without having to comb through the code themselves to remove the C99
So, no matter how great C99 or C11 might be, those who are forced to stick
with Microsoft Visual Studio will be barred from using any version of C
beyond Microsoft's versions of C90. The only alternative that Microsoft
offers those poor souls is to migrate from C to Microsoft's version of
C++98, and stick with the C subset. Those users, which in some areas might
be in significant numbers and/or in a position to impact and influence
others, do restrict the adoption of C99 and C11. To me, and according to my
experience, that's the main reason (and quite possibly the only reason) why,
after all these years, we still see discussions on what revision of the C
programming language should be adopted If it weren't for these shenanigans,
the world would be a much simpler place.
Re: What's new in C?
On Thursday, November 29, 2012 6:19:42 PM UTC, Rui Maciel wrote:
> To me, and according to my experience, that's the main reason (and quite
> possibly the only reason) why, after all these years, we still see
> discussions on what revision of the C programming language should be adopted
> If it weren't for these shenanigans, the world would be a much simpler place.
Yes, I'm infuriated with Microsoft as well.
The problem is that what's good from a software engineering perspective isn't
so good in terms of Microsoft's strategy, which is constant churn.
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