C++ Falls Short of An A
College computer science programs will have the task, during the next few years, of digesting a cohort of incoming students.College computer science programs will have the task, during the next few years, of digesting a cohort of incoming students who learned C++ as their first programming language. One wonders if remedial programming will overtake remedial writing as a drain on teaching resources. The college-level advanced placement computer science course switched from Pascal to C++ in 1999and has finally seen the error of its ways. But it will take until 2003 or 2004 to make yet another transition to the language (Java) that should have been adopted in the first place.
The College Board decision is driven by three principles: safety, simplicity and object orientation. The advisory report recommending this change makes a telling distinction between "object-based" and "object-oriented" development. I would call this the difference, respectively, between defining modules that merely fit together and designing frameworks that effectively use inheritance and polymorphism for abstraction. Java, I would argue, surpasses C++ in this respect.