Selecting a Prog-Lang: Support for C

Seaman ags at pucc-i
Fri May 18 15:00:35 AEST 1984

>  Dave, no one mentioned Modula-2 because it's still an experiment,
>  and, besides, the article was titled (see above) "...Support for C";

Then why did the article mention Pascal, Ada, FORTRAN and (*gasp*) COBOL?

Seriously, I recognize that this group is net.lang.c and not net.lang.mod2,
but as long as other people are comparing languages, it seems worthwhile
to have some good languages available for comparison.

Modula-2 combines the simplicity and readability of Pascal, the low-level 
facilities and expressive power of C, and the information-hiding, high-level
structuring and separate compilation capabilities of Ada in a single language.

I listened to Brian Kernighan's talk here in which he mentioned C++, the
new experimental version of C.  C++ looks like an attempt to add some of
Modula-2's features to C (primarily information hiding), but it lacks
Modula-2's built-in facilities for separating the "definition" and
"implementation" portions of a module and providing automatic version
control, both at compile time and at load time.  

There is a fundamental difference between "adding on" features to a language 
and designing them in from the beginning, a point which Wirth obviously 
appreciated when he abandoned Pascal and started over with Modula-2.  
Remember the programmer's axiom:  "Build one to throw away."

Dave Seaman

"Against people who give vent to their loquacity 
by extraneous bombastic circumlocution."

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