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50 Years of C++

Date and Time
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - 4:15pm to 5:45pm
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
Bjarne Stroustrup, from Texas A&M
Brian Kernighan
This is a talk about the design and evolution of C++. As all programming languages, C++ owes a lot to earlier languages and evolves through the blending of ideas. This talk tries to answer some common questions about that success of C++: Why did it succeed? At what did it succeed? How did it maintain a steady course over more than 25 years? At what did it not succeed? The scale of C++ success was unanticipated and its continuing strength has left many language and business theorists puzzled, so explanations are required. Given the long time span involved and because no large system can be designed with 20-20 hindsight, a historical perspective is an essential part of any answer. A combination of technical, philosophical, and sociological issues must be considered. This talk focuses on the design aims of C++ and my philosophy of incremental language evolution relying on feedback loops. It goes into some detail on the ISO standards process which has been central to the stability and evolution of C++. It gives a few -- but only very few -- illustrative code examples.
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