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  What I Hate About Your Programming Language
Subject:   Why C sucks...
Date:   2003-05-14 07:59:25
From:   anonymous2
Response to: Why C sucks...

I enjoyed your article on why C sucks (and what would suck less). I agree with many of the issues raised there. However, I would like to point out one area on which I am in strong disagreement:

We should not blame the language if the newbie programmer faces difficulty with its constructs. It is one thing to say a language has readability or even learnability issues. It is quite another to say that "it would not be clear to the newbie why this would work/fail". Someone who lacks full knowledge of a language has NO business doing serious work in it.

But all that aside, I understand where you're coming from. I am fluent in C and know all of its constructs, but I still have great difficult with actual examples of it (including my own).

Btw, IMHO, I share your sentiments about Pascal/Delphi, but I would really appreciate it if they changed "begin" and "end" to "{" and "}", respectively.

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  • Why C sucks less than Pascal, anyway
    2003-05-14 21:11:09  anonymous2 [View]

    The first programming language I learned, after DOS batch script, was C. (Taught myself; bought and borrowed books, drove my wife nuts with my face buried in the computer at night.) At the company I was working for back then (1989), it was my only option other than BASIC - and it did the job well.

    I needed to do complex mathematics and manipulate ASCII files; BASIC chokes on ASCII files, especially when the number of whitespace characters on a given line of text is unpredictable. C, on the other hand, doesn't care; sscanf() is your friend. I wrote some great stuff back then, heavily commented so I could trace what I was doing later.

    Nowadays, I'm stuck with Visual BASIC because that is the only scripting language our some of our CAD software understands. I feel like I've been sent to Programmer's Hell!

    Sure, I still write plenty of csh scripts at work, and bash scripts at home, but I rarely find use for C anymore. Or, I should say that I am rarely able to implement it. They won't give me a compiler at work, and I don't have admin rights to install my own there. (And they don't even have Perl on my Unix box there! The barbarians!)