Programming language for children

Walton Hoops walton at
Tue Jun 16 17:07:37 UTC 2009

Kent Borg:
> C++ is a bad idea.

I've seen a lot of these, and I just want to throw in my own 2c. I was first
introduced to programming as a freshman in high school (around 15).  My
first language: C++.  I really think it helped me a lot to learn in C++.
It's object oriented enough that I was familiarized with the concepts, but
it doesn't hold your hand like Java, C#, Python, and others do. In my
college years, when we got into parallel computing or operating systems,
where we had to use C, it was much, much easier for me than most of the
other students who began in Java, as I was already used to having to track
my own memory usage, watch my own types (always remember -Wall!), etc.

Not only that, I think I'm a better Java programmer for it.  While it may
not be always be necessary, many Java programmers never really think about
things like "How much memory is this taking?", "is this object still needed
or can I let it go?", leading to inefficient memory usage.  It still amazes
me how many Java programmers will try to construct huge strings with the '+'
operator and can't figure out why it's so slow, because they don't
understand all the memory allocations, copies, and reallocations being done
for you.

Does that mean C++ is right for everyone? Not necessarily, but I also don't
think it should be dismissed offhand as an inherently bad idea.

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