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Make a Hassle-Free Transition to C++

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GTOlover
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Learn from my son
GTOlover   5/15/2014 9:52:33 AM
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I went to college and we had Fortran and a little C. I stuck with the C language after college but never really got into it that deep. Then my oldest son went to college and had to take C++. He would come to me for help with his assignments and this forced me to learn the C++ side. Not that hard to make the jump from C to C++, but I could see if I had only stuck with Fortran I would of been no help.

The moral, do not be afraid to learn (if just the basics).

naperlou
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I did!
naperlou   5/15/2014 1:07:21 PM
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Rich, I started out with punch cards and FORTRAN.  Actually, I was studying physics and was a paid student programmer.  We had terminals in the Physics building, so I never really had to submit card decks.  The fist terminals were printing terminals with paper tape.  We then went to fancier printing terminals and then we went to CRTs.  It was great.  Then I went to work at NASA and was back to submitting cards.  It was a letdown.

Charles Murray
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Re: I did!
Charles Murray   5/15/2014 5:20:38 PM
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I, too, started out with punch cards. I had a couple of rather early classes in finite element analysis. I'd take a stack of my punch cards to the guys who ran the computer room, come back the next day, and pick up my results on the old 11" x 17" perforated, folded printout paper. If I made a slight error, I couldn't get my corrected results until the next day. You had to hope you didn't have a dozen errors in your punch cards because that could represent 12 days of new printouts. Gee, when I describe it that way,it all sounds so old.

Charles Murray
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Re: Learn from my son
Charles Murray   5/16/2014 7:20:33 PM
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I'm impressed, GTOlover. I believe that the transition to C++ is "hassle free," as Rich notes here. But I'm still stuck in the days of Basic and Fortran.

Daniyal_Ali
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Platinum
The devil is in the details.
Daniyal_Ali   5/17/2014 5:35:54 AM
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You are right, the transition from C to C++ is "hassle free" but if one really wants to learn how things work in the background, he must learn the basic assembly languages. Nowadays students are quite comfortable using C and C++ as they are very user friendly, but at the same time they are missing out on how things work at the background of their code. To get a complete hold of programming, one must know what lies in the details.

ttemple
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Re: The devil is in the details.
ttemple   5/17/2014 12:50:22 PM
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I am looking forward to the series.

I don't think that any transition in software is hassle free, however. (maybe I could generalize and say that nothing is hassle free about software - the devil IS in the details)

It seems to me like C++ may be a bit too much for the resources available in lower end processors.  Many of the compelling features of C++ might be pretty resource heavy for microcontrollers.  I think C is a great choice for microcontrollers.  It gets you a step above Assembler, but is still lean enough to be feasible.

I'm interested in seeing what C++ features will be supported in the microcontroller implementations, and what features won't, and whether low end controllers will be supported at all.

 

richnass
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Re: The devil is in the details.
richnass   5/19/2014 9:44:34 AM
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Daniyal_Ali: I agree with your comments about "working in the background." And I would encourage those that are trying to master these languages to do so. However, today's tools make that (unfortunately) unnecessary. It reminds me of the days when Windows was first popularized. Those of us who knew our way around DOS seemed to have a distinct advantage.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: The devil is in the details.
Cabe Atwell   5/20/2014 11:48:02 PM
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I started out with learning Applesoft Basic back in elementary school, which wasn't that tough. I started learning C++ before college to only minor success. I never developed games... as I planned.

 

cpu
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Iron
Punch cards to C++
cpu   5/21/2014 12:27:44 PM
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In college I worked in the Engineering Dept while in the EE program. One of my first jobs was to throw away piles of punch cards. How symbolic. Fortran was the language in our required introduction to programming. no punch cards, but running jobs using the VI editor on Hazeltine terminals connected to a Digital mainframe in the CS dep't. The experience was more valuable than any specific knowledge. Later came Pascal. By the time C was offered, I was finishing my studies and had no elective slots.

I learned ASM in a microprocessor class on Motorola chips. I agree, learning ASM is so valuable. When you look at the output listing from your compiler, wouldn't you want to have some idea what the compiler generated (particularly when the compiled code is not performing some low-level task as you expected)?

I learned C in self-study while working. C seems the perfect fit for low-end MCUs. C is also a good fit with the procedural code we tend to develop for embedded systems.

Now looking at C++, I see that over the years I've solved some problems using OO-like approaches without having any formal understanding of C++. But C was still powerful enough to allow me to create those things.

mrdon
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Gold
Re: The devil is in the details.
mrdon   5/23/2014 11:51:39 AM
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Cabe,

In college, I thought programming was boring and didn't really see why its important in elecrtrical engineering. After taking a BASIC programming class, I saw how powerful software could play in enhancing embedded systems. Programming languages like C and C++ make the impossibility of creating smaller and smarter electronic devices possible. I tell my students the ability to make a dumb device smart using C and C++ programming languages makes them the ultimate problem solver developing tools and products that can change the world. 

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