This is my collection of other people opinions why modern C++ is terrible language to use.

C++ code syntax is over complicated like Ralf Holly perfectly wrote:

Naturally, at least to me, C++ must be way behind C — Barr reports a 25% share. C++ is a powerful but difficult language. It is more or less built on top of C, so it is “backwards-efficient”. Alas, to master it, you need to read at least 10 books by Bjarne Stroustrup, Scott Myers, Herb Sutter et. al. and practice for five years — day and night. But the biggest problem with C++ is that it somehow encourages C++ experts to endlessly tinker with their code, using more and more advanced and difficult language features until nobody else understands the code anymore. (Even days after everything is already working they keep polishing — if people complain that they don’t understand their template meta-programming gibberisch, they turn away in disgust.)

Also it is full of old programming idiom perfectly pointed by reddit user:

[..] At this point C++ is more archaeology than programming environment. It’s like a graveyard of old programming idioms beginners have to walk through before they can find the temple with the latest spells in the middle of all the skeletons and rotting dead bodies. [..]

C++ makes moves this false ideology that ‘code is more important than data’ – which isn’t. Listening to Mike Acton videos can be eye opening (hopefully) to some developers.

“The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry.” — Henry Petroski

Its so sadly true ;(

sums up why c++ is not a way to go if not needed (which is almost always not):

Scott Meyers on ridiculous c++ complexity/efficiency

Great blog entry on Data oriented design

rant about OOP

Nice answer to question by Jon Harrop ( )

> What are the reasons C++ is considered bad?

Probably easiest to compare C++ with C. C was a beautifully designed language.

The features of the C language were added with purpose. They were intended to solve a real problem and solve that problem they did. Simple arithmetic with promotion. Automatic register allocation with a portable (between compilers) ABI. A simple-but-handy preprocessor. And so on. C is also a lean language: a single person can feasibly write a C compiler in a relatively short time (tinycc is a C99-compliant C compiler written in just 65kLOC of C!). C set out to achieve a clear goal and it achieved its goal. Thanks to the cleanness of C lots of quality compilers came on the market quickly and even decent OSS solutions were available early on.

In contrast, C++ never had a clear goal. The features of C++ were added almost at random. Stroustrup’s original idea was essentially “C is cool and OOP is cool so let’s bolt OOP onto C”. Retrospectively, OOP was massively overhyped and is the wrong tool for the job for most of the people most of the time. Half of the GoF design patterns just emulate idioms from functional programming. Real OOP languages like Smalltalk and IO express many useful things that C++ cannot. The feature that C needed most was perhaps parametric polymorphism (aka generics in Java and C#, first seen in ML in the late 1970s) but instead of that C++ got templates that weren’t designed to solve any particular problem but rather to kind of solve several completely unrelated problems (e.g. generics and metaprogramming). Someone actually discovered by accident that C++ templates are Turing complete and they wrote and published a program that computed prime numbers at compile time. Wow. A remarkable observation that led to decades of template abuse where people used templates to solve problems much better solved by other pre-existing solutions such Lisp macros and ML polymorphism. Worse, this abuse led to even more language features being piled on top, like template partial specialization.

The massive incidental complexity in C++ made it almost impossible to write a working compiler. For example, it remains extremely difficult to write a parser for the C++ language. The syntax also has horrible aspects like List<Set<int>> being interpreted as logical shift right. None of the original C++ compilers were reliable. During my PhD in 2000-2004 I was still stumbling upon dozens of bugs in C++ compilers from GNU, Intel and SGI. Only after two decades did we start to see solid C++ compilers (by which time C++ was in decline in industry due to Java and C#).

C++ is said to be fast but the reality is that C++ is essentially only fast when you write C-like code and even then it is only fast for certain kinds of programs. Due to the “you don’t pay for what you don’t use” attitude, C++ is generally inefficient. RAII injects lots of unnecessary function calls at the end of scope, sometimes even expensive virtual calls. These calls often require data that would otherwise be dead so the data are kept alive, increasing register pressure and spilling and decreasing performance. The C++ exception mechanism is very inefficient (~6x slower than OCaml) because it unwinds the stack frame by frame calling destructors rather than long jumping. Allocation with new and delete is slow compared to a modern garbage collector so people are encouraged to use STL collections but these pre-allocate huge blocks of memory in comparison so you’ve lost the memory-efficiency of C and then you are advised to write your own STL allocator which is no better than using C in the first place. One of the main long-standing advantages of C over modern languages is the unpredictable latency incurred by garbage collectors. C++ offers the worst of both worlds by not having a garbage collector (making it impossible to leverage useful concepts like purely functional data structures properly) but it encourages all destructors to avalanche so you get unbounded pause times (worse than any production GC). Although templates are abused for metaprogramming they are very poor at it and C++ has no real support for metaprogramming. For example, you cannot write an efficient portable regular expression library in C++ because there is no way to do run-time code generation and compilation as you can in Java, C# and languages dating back to Lisp (1960). So while Java and C# have had regular expressions in their standard libraries for well over 10 years, C++ only just got them and they are slow.

C++ is so complicated that even world experts make rookie mistakes with it. Herb Sutter works for Microsoft and sits on the C++ standards committee where he influences the future of C++. In a lecture he gave his favorite 10-line C++ program, a thread-safe object cache. Someone pointed out that it leaks memory (Herb Sutter’s favorite C++ 10-liner has a memory management bug).

My personal feeling is that the new Rust programming language is what C++ should have been. It has useful known features like generics, discriminated unions and pattern matching and useful new features like memory safety without garbage collection.