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SubjectRe: Linux kernel modules development in C++
Ragnar Hojland Espinosa <> said:
> On Thu, Sep 28, 2000 at 01:45:40AM +0200, Igmar Palsenberg wrote:


> > - The're a lot more people that know C than C++

> Let's put it the other way... there aren't many people who know C++
> around. Well, there are less people who understand the kernel. Then,
> maybe, to make it more accessible, we should dumb it down.

It is not necessarily a good thing that everybody and her grandmother think
they can hack on Linux... exhibit A for the defense: Look at the average
skill level of your run-of-the-mill $GUI_WORDPROCESSOR user: Sure, they are
able to write a memo, and are "experts"; but make that a 20-page document,
and then use a different printer: Awful. This is exactly what Linus meant
when he said he doesn't want an in-kernel debugger: Dumb it down, and you
select dumber hackers, and the result is a mess.


> Someone mentioned they preferred C because they knew exactly what the
> compiler would be generating. I wonder if they got this knowledge in some
> magic way, and what makes them think that they couldn't learn what C++
> compilers do (at least G++)

Right. And C++ was designed carefully along "you pay for what you use", so
with careful programming it should be no worse. OTOH, in C you _see_ the
costs [OK, maybe a hardened asm-fanatic will take issue with that...], in
C++ you don't necessarily see what is going on. But that is part of
learning C++ well, I guess.

> Of course, yes, I do agree that if the kernel is in C and putting in C++
> requires more than some little localized glue or similar, C++ shouldn't go
> in.


> But I'll never understand this C++ aversion.

When Linux started, there was _no_ decent freeware C++ compiler around.
g++'s C++ was a bad joke, the compiler was very unstable, and C++ (the
language) changed almost weekly. Only recently (with egcs, essentially) did
the C++ support in GCC become respectable, and the language stabilized. But
by that time the kernel source corpus was firmly locked into (GCC's) C for
better or worse.
Dr. Horst H. von Brand
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513
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