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Saturday, 23 June 2012

cs 201 gdb

C++ is still useful in embedded systems. As everyone else has said, that it still depends on the system itself, like 8-bit uC would probably be a no-no in my book even though there is a compiler out there and some people do it(shudder). [ There's still an advantage to using C++ even when you scale it down to something like "C+" even in a 8-bit micro world. What I mean by "C+", I mean don't use new/delete, avoid exceptions, avoid virtual classes with inheritance, possibly avoid inheritance all together, be very careful with templates, use inline functions instead of macros, and use const variables instead of #defines. I've been working both in C and C++ in embedded systems for well over a decade now, and some of my youthful enthusiasm for C++ has definitely worn off due to
some real world problems that shake one's naivete. I have seen the worst of C++ in an embedded systems which I would like to refer to as "CS programmers gone wild in an EE world." In fact, that is something I'm working on with my client to improve this one codebase they have among others. The danger of C++ is because it's a very very powerful tool much like a two-edged sword that can cut both your arm and leg off if not educated and disciplined properly in it's language and general programming itself. C is more like a single-edged sword, but still just as sharp. With C++ it's too easy to get very high-levels of abstraction and create obfuscated interfaces that become meaningless in the long-term, and that's partly due to C++ flexibility in solving the same problem with many different language features(templates, OOP, procedural, RTTI, OOP+templates, overloading, inlining). I finished a two 4-hour seminars on Embedded Software in C++ by the C++ guru, Scott Meyers. He pointed out some things about templates that I never considered before and how much more they can help creating safety-critical code. The jist of it is, you can't have dead code in software that has to meet stringent safety-critical code requirements. Templates can help you accomplish this, since the compiler only creates the code it needs when instantiating templates. ]

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