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From: Ken shaw (ken_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-05-18 10:14:28

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Seymour" <bsey_at_[hidden]>
To: <boost_at_[hidden]>
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2001 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: [boost] Is boost elitist?

> >
> > ... is boost in particular, and c++ in general, becoming
> > more and more inaccessible?
> > ...
> > The problem is that the move to greater generality also
> > requires greater abstraction, and that the result becomes
> > less accessible.
> >
> Well, the skills needed for implementing, say, operator<<
> for some user-defined type, especially in all its i18n
> generality, are very different from the skills needed
> to write cout << "Hello, World!" For my own part, I was
> able to write code making obvious use of std::vector as
> soon as I understood what a template is. More complicated
> code came later. IMO, novices _can_ make use of the
> standard library in simple ways; and they have plenty
> of room to advance and plenty of opportunity to continue
> learning. (I know that _I_ have plenty of opportunity
> to continue learning. This is a Good Thing.)
I don't find that novice programmers have any trouble using most of STL
(locale facets excluded). Once the concept of generic containers, iterators,
and algorithms is explained they can generally start using such immediately.
On the other hand writing functors to customize algorithm behaviour and
some of the associated infrastructure sends experienced users such as myself
back to my copy of the Josuttis book.

> Greg wrote:
> >
> > A novice programmer should be learning some other language
> > (C, Python, or Java, maybe Scheme) before even approaching C++.
> >
> I'm not sure that's right. Learning, say, Java first gives
> the novice a lot of stuff to unlearn, IMO.

Having had to train several recent CS graduates who only knew Java I cannot
overstate how poorly that prepares someone to be a working C++ programmer.
Since C/C++ is the de facto standard in most code shops it should be what
programmers learn in school.

Ken Shaw

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