Learning from C++'s success ( was C++ briar patch )

Henry Baker hbaker@netcom.netcom.com
Sun, 25 May 1997 11:18:06 -0800

[hbaker:  The following posting appeared on comp.lang.functional today.]

In article <joswig-ya023180002505971214260001@news.lavielle.com>,
joswig@lavielle.com (Rainer Joswig) wrote:

> In article <BITMEADC.97May20111552@Alcatel.com.au>,
> Chris.Bitmead@Alcatel.com.au wrote:
> > >A company with ( too ) many
> > >programmers could write 1 project in lisp, and a mirror project in C++
> > >for comparison, with the appropriate maintenence over the years, then
> > >compare quality and costs.  No one really wants to do that.  If C++
> > >can get us increased productivity in the next quarter, great.  Let's
> > >use it.  It would probably take more time than that to teach the whole
> > >staff passable LISP.
> > >       We might surmise that a small software company could use LISP 
> > >and be sucessful because of higher productivity.  Unfortunately, this 
> > >evidence is mysteriously lacking.  
> > 
> > Well, the research papers give the evidence. What more do you want?
> Well, AT&T was doing a switching system in Lisp and another one
> in C++. The C++ system did take a lot more resources (it was
> done as a production system). The Lisp version was more
> like a research project (let's see what we can do). As it
> turned out the Lisp version did have more functionality
> at comparable speed and was *much* cheaper to built.
> This was a large project (if I remember correct, up to 100 people were
> working on the switch based on Lisp). It did touch areas like real-time GC,
> OODBMs, fault tolerance, the system should be down in the
> range of a minute per year, etc.
> The group has reported about that publicly and they seemed a bit
> frustrated that despite the clear superiority of their switch,
> the company still wanted to market the system based on C++.
> -- 
> http://www.lavielle.com/~joswig/