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Myths and Truths Comparing C++ and Java

Myths and Truths Comparing C++ and Java  
 
 
ABSTRACT
 
 
A quote from an interview with George Paolini, Director of Corporate Marketing at JavaSoft, published in JavaREPORT 5/98: 
Q: When will Java win over the C++ developers once and for all ?

A: I think we're winning them over now. On the programming language side, C++ programmers are probably the most adept at picking up Java. For them it's basically about leaving out a lot of the trapdoors that were developed in C++ and unlearning a lot of bad habits. 


This and other statements which advertise Java as a "simplified C++" created the myth that C++ programmers would almost automatically master Java. The reality, in contrast, shows that Java opens quite a number of trapdoors especially to Java programmers with a strong C++ background. 
The reason for this is the fact that Java shares most of the syntax and numerous concepts with C++, and exactly this property misleads former C++ programmers. Language constructs that are syntactically identical in Java and C++ have entirely different semantics in both languages. Typical examples are assignment and comparison of objects: they are syntactically identical, but exhibit different behavior in both languages. The construction of objects differs in subtle ways between C++ and Java. Reference variables in Java look like C++ references, but behave like C++ pointers. In addition, it turns out that common C++ idioms such as value semantics, const-correctness, or resource management techniques cannot be transported to Java. 
Based on several years of practical Java experience, this tutorial aims to shed some light on obstacles and misunderstandings that come up during the transition from C++ to Java. This is not a talk about the fact the Java lacks templates and that C++ lacks garbage collection, but about the subtle differences between Java and C++. Considering that many C++ idioms are not suitable for Java programming, the tutorial also explains corresponding Java idioms, and how they relate to the respective C++ idioms.

 

 
 
PREREQUISITES

 
 
Level: intermediate
Duration: 2 hours
Prerequisites: Attendants should have practical experience with C++, some basic knowledge of Java, and an interest in exploring the differences that come up in practice.
Presented at: Application Development '99 , London, UK, July 1999 
C++ World '99 , Miami, FL, December 1999 
OOP 2000 , Munich, Germany, January 2000 
DevWeek Europe 2000 , London, UK, Feburary 2000

 
 

If you are interested to hear more about this and related topics you might want to check out the following seminar or skim through some further reading:
Seminars
 
Effective Java 
4-day seminar 
(open enrollment and on-site)
 
Paper
 
Really Understanding Java -
Myths and Truths Comparing C++ and Java
short white paper (providing first insights)
 

 
  © Copyright 1995-2005 by Angelika Langer.  All Rights Reserved.    URL: < http://www.AngelikaLanger.com/Conferences/Abstracts/JavaGotchas.htm  last update: 7 Nov 2005