Newbie: The C / C++ Issue

Chris Pressey cpressey at
Wed Nov 12 15:24:40 PST 2003

On Tue, 11 Nov 2003 21:06:51 -0500
"Alex Kelly" <alexkelly at> wrote:

> Thanks for all of the great suggestions to my previous question!
> Yet, the responses have led me to another question. If C++ is newer
> and more advanced than C, will it replace C?

Unlikely.  Old languages die hard - it's a bit scary to think of all
the systems out there that are still running programs written in
FORTRAN, COBOL, Business BASIC, and MUMPS (and incidentally will
continue to run those programs until it becomes cost-ineffective to do
so - which is to say, probably indefinately.)

> If so, should I learn C++ and forget C?

If you want an appreciation of how computers actually work, learn the
language that many call "portable(ish) assembly code" - C.

If you don't really care how computers actually work, and you just want
an elegant way to specify algorithms, learn Haskell.

If you want something in-between, learn Erlang.

And if you want a job in a cubicle, learn C++ or Java.

Just MHO,

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