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Communications of the ACM

Implementation benefits of C++ language mechanisms


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C + + was designed by Bjarne Stroustrup at AT&T Bell Laboratories in the early 1980s as an extension to the C language, providing data abstraction and object-oriented programming facilities. C + + provides a natural syntactic extension to C, incorporating the class construct from Simula. A design principle was to remain compatible and comparable with C in terms of syntax, performance and portability Another goal was to define an object-oriented language that significantly increased the amount of static type checking provided, with user-defined types (classes) and built-in types being part of a single unified type system obeying identical scope, allocation and naming rules. These aims have been achieved, providing some underlying reasons why C + + has become so prevalent in the industry. The approach has allowed a straightforward evolution from existing C-based applications to the new facilities offered by C + + , providing an easy transition for both software systems and programmers. The facilities described are based on Release 2.0 of the language, the version on which the ANSI and IS0 standardization of C + + is being based.

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