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C+++ Creator, Bjarne Stroustrup Gave an Interview to the Ieee's 'computer Magazine.
On the 1st of January, 1998, Bjarne Stroustrup gave an interview to the IEEE's 'Computer' magazine. Naturally, the editors thought he would be giving a retrospective view of seven years of object-oriented design, using the language he created. By the end of the interview, the interviewer got more than he had bargained for and, subsequently, the editor decided to suppress its contents, 'for the good of the industry' but as with many of these things, there was a leak. Here is a complete transcript of what was said, unedited, and unrehearsed, so it isn't as neat as planned interviews.
You will find it interesting...
Well, it's been a few years since you changed theworld of software design. How does it feel, looking back?
Actually, I was thinking about those days, just before you arrived. Do you remember? Everyone was writing 'C' and, the trouble was, they were pretty damn good at it. Universities got pretty good at teaching it, too. They were turning out competent - I stress the word 'competent' - graduates at a phenomenal rate. That's what caused the problem.
Yes, problem. Remember when everyone wrote COBOL?
Of course, I did, too.
Well, in the beginning, these guys were like demi-gods. Their salaries were high, and they were treated like royalty.
Those were the days, eh?
Right. So what happened? IBM got sick of it, and invested millions in training programmers, till they were a dime a dozen.
That's why I got out. Salaries dropped within a year, to the point where being a journalist actually paid better.
Exactly. Well, the same happened with 'C' programmers.
Interviewer: I see, but what's the point?
Well, one day, when I was sitting in my office, I thought of this little scheme, which would redress the balance a little. I thought 'I wonder what would happen, if there were a language so complicated, so difficult to learn, that nobody would ever be able to swamp the market with programmers?
Actually, I got some of the ideas from X10, you know, X windows. That was such a bitch of a graphics system, that it only just ran on those Sun 3/60 things. They had all the ingredients for what I wanted. A really ridiculously complex syntax, obscure functions, and pseudo-OO structure. Even now, nobody writes raw X-windows code. Motif is the only way to go if you want to retain your sanity.
Not a bit of it. In fact, there was another problem. Unix was written in 'C', which meant that any 'C' programmer could very easily become a systems
programmer. Remember what a mainframe systems programmer used to earn?
You bet I do, that's what I used to do.
OK, so this new language had to divorce itself from Unix, by hiding all the system calls that bound the two together so nicely. This would enable guys who only knew about DOS to earn a decent living too.
I don't believe you said that...
Well, it's been long enough, now, and I believe most people have figured out for themselves that C++ is a waste of time but, I must say, it's taken them a lot longer than I thought it would.
So how exactly did you do it?
It was only supposed to be a joke, I never thought people would take the book seriously. Anyone with half a brain can see that object-oriented programming is counter-intuitive, illogical and inefficient.
And as for 're-useable code' --- when did you ever hear of a company re-using its code?
Well, never, actually, but...
There you are then. Mind you, a few tried, in the early days. There was this Oregon company --- Mentor Graphics, I think they were called --- really caught a cold trying to rewrite everything in C++ in about '90 or '91. I felt sorry for them really, but I thought people would learn from their mistakes.
Obviously, they didn't?
Not in the slightest. Trouble is, most companies hush-up all their major blunders, and explaining a $30 million loss to the shareholders would have been difficult. Give them their due, though, they made it work in the end.
They did? Well, there you are then, it proves O-O works.
Well, almost. The executable was so huge, it took five minutes to load, on an HP workstation, with 128MB of RAM. Then it ran like molasses. Actually, I thought this would be a major stumbling-block, and I'd get found out within a week, but nobody cared. Sun and HP were only too glad to sell enormously powerful boxes, with huge resources just to run trivial programs. You know, when we had our first C++ compiler, at AT&T, I compiled Hello World', and couldn't believe the size of the executable: 2.1MB
What? Well, compilers have come a long way, since then.
They have? Try it on the latest version of g++ - you won't get much change out of half a megabyte. Also, there are several quite recent examples for you, from all over the world. British Tele- com had a major disaster on their hands but, luckily, managed to scrap the whole thing and start again. They were luckier than Australian Telecom.
Now I hear that Siemens is building a dinosaur, and getting more and more worried as the size of the hardware gets bigger, to accommodate the executables. Isn't multiple inheritance a joy?
Yes, but C++ is basically a sound language.
You really believe that, don't you? Have you ever sat down and worked on a C++ project? Here's what happens: First, I've put in enough pitfalls to make sure that only the most trivial proj- ects will work first time. Take operator overloading. At the end of the project, almost every module has it, usually, because guys feel they really should do it, as it was in their training course. The same operator then means something totally different in every module. Try pulling that lot together, when you have a hundred or so modules. And as for data hiding, God, I sometimes can't help laughing when I hear about the problems companies have making their modules talk to each other.
I think the word 'synergistic' was specially invented to twist the knife in a project manager's ribs.
I have to say, I'm beginning to be quite appalled at all this. You say you did it to raise programmers' salaries? That's ob- scene.
Not really. Everyone has a choice. I didn't expect the thing to get so much out of hand. Anyway, I basically succeeded. C++ is dying off now, but programmers still get high salaries, especial- ly those poor devils who have to maintain all this crap. You do realise, it's impossible to maintain a large C++ software module if you didn't actually write it?
You are out of touch, aren't you? Remember the typedef?
Yes, of course.
Remember how long it took to grope through the header files only to find that 'RoofRaised' was a double precision number? Well, imagine how long it takes to find all the implicit typedefs in all the Classes in a major project.
So how do you reckon you've succeeded?
The universities haven't been teaching 'C' for such a long time, there's now a shortage of decent 'C' programmers. Especially those who know anything about Unix systems programming. How many guys would know what to do with 'malloc', when they've used 'new' all these years and never bothered to check the return code. In fact, most C++ programmers throw away their return codes. What- ever happened to good ol' '-1'? At least you knew you had an error, without bogging the thing down in all that 'throw' 'catch' 'try' stuff.
But, surely, inheritance does save a lot of time?
Does it? Have you ever noticed the difference between a 'C' project plan, and a C++ project plan? The planning stage for a C++ project is three times as long. Precisely to make sure that everything which should be inherited is, and what shouldn't isn't. Then, they still get it wrong. Whoever heard of memory leaks in a 'C' program? Now finding them is a major industry. Most companies give up, and send the product out, knowing it leaks like a sieve, simply to avoid the expense of tracking them all down.
There are tools....
...Most of which were written in C++.
If we publish this, you'll probably get lynched, you do realise that?
I doubt it. As I said, C++ is way past its peak now, and no company in its right mind would start a C++ project without a pilot trial. That should convince them that it's the road to disaster. If not, they deserve all they get. You know, I tried to convince Dennis Ritchie to rewrite Unix in C++.
Oh my God. What did he say?
Well, luckily, he has a good sense of humor. I think both he and Brian figured out what I was doing, in the early days, but never let on. He said he'd help me write a C++ version of DOS, if I was interested.
Actually, I did write DOS in C++, I'll give you a demo when we're through. I have it running on a Sparc 20 in the computer room. Goes like a rocket on 4 CPU's, and only takes up 70 megs of disk.
What's it like on a PC?
Now you're kidding. Haven't you ever seen Windows '95? I think of that as my biggest success. Nearly blew the game before I was ready, though.
You know, that idea of a Unix++ has really got me thinking. Somewhere out there, there's a guy going to try it.
Not after they read this interview.
I'm sorry, but I don't see us being able to publish any of this.
But it's the story of the century. I only want to be remembered by my fellow programmers, for what I've done for them. You know how much a C++ guy can get these days?
Last I heard, a really top guy is worth $80 - $90 an hour.
See? And I bet he earns it. Keeping track of all the gotchas I put into C++ is no easy job. And, as I said before, every C++ programmer feels bound by some mystic promise to use every damn element of the language on every project. Actually, that really annoys me sometimes, even though it serves my original purpose. I almost like the language after all this time.
You mean you didn't before?
Hated it. It even looks clumsy, don't you agree? But when the book royalties started to come in... well, you get the picture.
Just a minute. What about references? You must admit, you improved on 'C' pointers.
Hmm. I've always wondered about that. Originally, I thought I had. Then, one day I was discussing this with a guy who'd written C++ from the beginning. He said he could never remember whether his variables were referenced or dereferenced, so he always used pointers. He said the little asterisk always reminded him.
Well, at this point, I usually say 'thank you very much' but it hardly seems adequate.
Promise me you'll publish this. My conscience is getting the better of me these days.
I'll let you know, but I think I know what my editor will say.
Who'd believe it anyway? Although, can you send me a copy of that tape?
I can do that.
Shamelessly nicked from: http://artlung.com/smorgasborg/Invention_of_Cplusplus.shtml
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Su Wong Marries Lee Wong...
The next year, the Wongs have a new baby.
The nurse brings over a lovely, healthy, bouncy, but definitely a Caucasian, WHITE baby boy.
'Congratulations,' says the nurse to the new parents. 'Well Mr. Wong, what will you and Mrs. Wong name the baby'?
The puzzled father looks at his new baby boy and says, 'Well, two Wong's don't make a white, so I think we will name him....
Are you ready for this?
Sum Ting Wong
You know you laughed and are going to send this on!!!
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Dave was attending his 4X4 club's monthly meeting and had just told them he couldn't make the camping trip scheduled for the next day because his wife wouldn't let him go.
After listening to the jeers and other derisive remarks from his fellow 4X4 friends Dave left to go back home to his wife.
When Dave's friends started arriving to set up camp the next day, who should be there but Dave sitting up in front of his truck, tent up, fishing rod in hand, camp oven roast stewing away in a hot bed of coals.
"How did ya talk your wife into letting you go Dave"?
"I didn't have to" was Dave's reply. "When I left the meeting I went home and slumped down in my chair with a beer to drown my sorrows. Then my wife snuck up behind me and covered my eyes and said, 'Surprise'"!
When I peeled her hands back she was standing there in a beautiful see - through negligee and she said, "Carry me into the bedroom, tie me to the bed and you can do whatever you want".
"So here I am"!
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I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally.. but this one is real, and it's important. So please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list.
This is the time of year to think of ticks once again.
If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!!
They only want to see you naked.
I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.
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On some bases the Air Force is on one side of the field and civilian aircraft use the other side of the field, with the control tower in the middle. One day the tower received a call from an aircraft asking, "What time is it"?
The tower responded, "Who is calling"?
The aircraft replied, "What difference does it make"?
The tower replied, "It makes a lot of difference........
If it is an American Airlines flight, it is 3 o'clock.
If it is an Air Force plane, it is 1500 hours.
If it is a Navy aircraft, it is 6 bells.
If it is an Army aircraft, the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3.
If it is a Marine Corps aircraft, it's Thursday afternoon and 120 minutes to "Happy Hour".
During training exercises, the lieutenant who was driving down a muddy back road encountered another car stuck in the mud with a red-faced colonel at the wheel.
"Your jeep stuck, sir" asked the lieutenant as he pulled alongside?
"Nope," replied the colonel, coming over and handing him the keys, "yours is".
Having just moved into his new office, a pompous new colonel was sitting at his desk when an airman knocked on the door. The colonel quickly picked up the phone, told the airman to enter, then said into the phone, "Yes, General, I'll be seeing him this afternoon and I'll pass along your message. In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir".
Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young enlisted man, he asked, "What do you want"?
"Nothing important, sir", the airman replied, "I'm just here to hook up your telephone".
Officer: "Soldier, do you have change for a dollar"?
Soldier: "Sure, buddy".
Officer: "That's no way to address an officer! Now let's try it again"!
Officer: "Soldier. Do you have change for a dollar"?
Soldier: "No, SIR"!
Q: How do you know if there is a fighter pilot at your party?
A: He'll tell you.
Q: What's the difference between God and fighter pilots?
A: God doesn't think he's a fighter pilot..
Q: What's the difference between a fighter pilot and a jet engine?
A: A jet engine stops whining when the plane shuts down.
An Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and a General were sitting in the barbershop. They were both just getting finished with their shaves when the barbers reached for some after-shave to slap on their faces.
The General shouted, "Hey, don't put that stuff on me! My wife will think I've been in a whorehouse"!
The Chief turned to his barber and said, "Go ahead and put it on me. My wife doesn't know what the inside of a whorehouse smells like".
"Well", snarled the tough old Navy Chief to the bewildered Seaman, "I suppose after you get discharged from the Navy, you'll just be waiting for me to die so you can come and piss on my grave".
"Not me, Chief!" the Seaman replied. "Once I get out of the Navy, I'm never going to stand in line again".
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My Son Did It
Tom in deep thoughts is very quiet. Jerry asks, "What is wrong with you, Tom"?
"Please don't ask".
"I'm your best friend. You can talk to me".
"My seven year old son made my secretary pregnant".
"That's not possible".
"No, he did".
"He punctured my condoms"!
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The Boy Who Loved Tractors - Another Groaner
As a young boy, Joe was completely obsessed with tractors. He had pictures of tractors all over his bedroom walls; he had tractor toys, tractor T-shirts, and duvet cover, the whole works. He ate, drank and slept tractors.
On his 17th birthday he was thrilled to get an invitation to go to a tractor factory nearby and test-drive a brand new tractor. His excitement was incredible as he told his family and friends. The great day came and he went to the factory for the test-drive.
Unfortunately something went terribly wrong with the tractor when Joe was driving it and it flipped over, trapping and breaking Joe's leg and fracturing his skull. He was so upset and tried to sue the tractor company for negligence. But the company would have none of it and told him there was no liability and he could get lost!
You can imagine he was rather fed up with tractors after this and vowed to shed them from his life completely and forever.
Many years later, Joe went into a bar for a drink. Inside, the cigarette and cigar smoke was terrible but through it he saw a beautiful girl seated at the bar on her own. Tears were streaming down her face. Joe asked her what was wrong and she said that the smoke was making her eyes sting and stream with tears.
With that, Joe looked around and then took a huge breath, sucking in all the smoke. He then walked to the far window and blew all the smoke out again.
He goes back into the bar where the air is now clear and sweet and sits down Next to the girl.
"That was amazing!" she said, "How did you do that"?
"No problem", said Joe,
(Wait for it. . . _Scroll down)
"I'm an extractor fan".
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What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?
For bird flu you need tweetment and for swine flu you need oinkment.
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You Know You're from Canada when .............
* You only know three spices: salt, pepper and ketchup.
* You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
* Canadian Tire on any Saturday is busier than the toy stores at Christmas.
* You've taken your kids trick-or-treating in a blizzard.
* Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled in with snow.
* You think sexy lingerie is tube-socks and a flannel nightie with only 8 buttons.
* The local paper covers national and international headlines on 2 pages, but requires 6 pages for hockey.
* You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
* You find -40C a little chilly.
* The trunk of your car doubles as a deep freeze.
* You attend a formal event in your best clothes, your finest jewellery and your Sorels.
* You understand the Labatt Blue commercials.
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Room Service - Tenjewberrymuds
The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service at a hotel in Asia. It was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review:
To get the full effect it should be read aloud. [You will understand what 'tenjewberrymuds' means by the end of the conversation.]
Room Service (RmSv): Morrin. Roon sirbees.
Guest: Sorry, I thought I dialled room-service.
RmSv: Rye...Roon sirbees...morrin! Jewish to oddor sunteen?
Guest: Uh..yes..I'd like some bacon and eggs.
RmSv: Ow July den?
RmSv: Ow July den?...pryed, boyud, poochd?
Guest: Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please.
RmSv: Ow July dee baykem? Crease?
Guest: Crisp will be fine.
RmSv: Hokay. An Sahn toes?
RmSv: An toes. July Sahn toes?
Guest: I don't think so.
RmSv: No? Judo wan sahn toes??
Guest: I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo wan sahn toes' means.
RmSv: Toes! toes!... Why jew don juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?
Guest: English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine.
RmSv: We bodder?
Guest: No...just put the bodder on the side.
Guest: I mean butter... just put it on the side.
Guest: Excuse me?
Guest: Yes. Coffee, please, and that's all.
RmSv: One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin we bodder on sigh and copy...rye?
Guest: Whatever you say.
Guest: You're very welcome.
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