[Scottish] Computing Power debate

Aidan Skinner scottish at mailman.lug.org.uk
Tue Oct 1 13:25:00 2002

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On Tue, Oct 01, 2002 at 11:03:04AM +0100, Paul Millar wrote

> On Fri, 27 Sep 2002, Aidan Skinner wrote:

> > Three things:
> >=20
> > 1. C is /still/ the most used programming language, for god only knows
> > what reason
> Hmmm, that certainly used to be true, but I guess its probably not
> anymore.  Hasn't C++ overtaken it (as in Visual C++ for example), or
> (shudder) VBA?

Porbably for new projects, although C ain't dead there either, but I
suspect the majority of code is probably still in C. I don't have any
numbers to support this assertion though. In any case, a lot of C++ is
written as C-with-extra-keywords ;)

> As for why C is popular: it does the job, its *largely* portable and, if
> you abstract out hardware differences, it can be made portable. What more
> do you _need_?

A safety catch so I don't shoot myself in the foot, not being able to
assign in a conditional, write past the end of an array....

> > and you don't get muhch lower level than semi-portable asm.
> Pointing out the obvious, but asm isn't portable, really. Only on the sam=
> architecture.

I know, I was making deregotary comments towards C. ;)

> I don't want to rave about C, but it does let you do all those
> bit-twiddling things without having to resort to assembler. If compilers

As do a whole bunch of other languages that provide a bit more of a
saftey net..

> Yep. very much so.  BTW, I hadn't heard of skip lists before. After a=20
> little Googling, I found an implementation that looked rather like a=20
> binary tree.  Are the two roughly the same?

Pretty much yeah, although skip lists have a couple of nice properties
regarding insertion and deletion comlpexity that trees don't.

- Aidan
aidan@velvet.net  http://www.velvet.net/~aidan/  aim:aidans42
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