Analysis Of The C++ Programming Language

1527 words - 6 pages

AbstractC++ has had a phenomenal growth since it's beginnings in the early 1980's and has taken it's place as one of the premier programming languages in use today. This paper examines the history, purpose and expectations of the C++ language and emphasizes the Object Oriented basis that has made C++ so popular.Analysis Of The C++ Programming LanguageObject Oriented Programming (OOP) is a software development paradigm that has passed the test of time. The key concepts if OOP, inheritance, polymorphism and encapsulation provide the programmer an abstraction that models the real world of objects or things. These key concepts came from simulation - the technology to simulate or model the real world in a computer. These concepts form the basis of the C++ computer language.OriginsTo find the origins of C++, one must travel around the world to a place that has spawned much original thought, Scandinavia, in particular, Norway. Here in the early 1960's, Kristen Nygaard led a group of scientists in developing a radical new programming language (Holmevik, 1995) for simulation. This was to be "a precise language which allows a description of a network in terms of standardized and generally accepted concepts... where the flow may be thought of as being composed of discrete units demanding service at discrete service elements, and entering and leaving the elements at definite moments [sic] of time.". Today, this is known as encapsulation and is central to the idea of objects. The new language, called Simula, was based on the then leading European program language called Anglo, so that commercial acceptance would be more likely.Later, Simula became a more general purpose language through involvement and money from UNIVAC. The developers realized that the language needed "tools for expressing common properties between interrelated processes in the system" (Holmevik, 1995) - or inheritance. In addition, some of the "sophisticated simulation facilities embedded" in the early Simula where removed to form a more general purpose programming language and in 1967, Simula 67 was introduced. It became a very popular language that was ported to many of the platforms of the day, including IBM360/370's, Control Data and DEC.Enter a quirky genius from America, Alan Kay (Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Atari) who began to use Simula 67 in his effort produce an inexpensive notebook-sized personal computers for both adults and children, with the power to handle all their information-related needs. From this came concepts such as the laptop computer, overlapping windows and in 1971, Kay and his group at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), created Smalltalk (Rheingold, 1985). Smalltalk integrated ideas from Simula and furthered the concept of inheritance and encapsulation to provide robustness and data hiding.In 1980, a researcher at Bell Labs, Bjarne Stroustrup, was seeking to extend the programming language C with object...

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