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William Torrez
William Torrez

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Why Use a Language Like C++?

  1. Compiled Languages and C++

1.1 Why Use a Language Like C++?

At its core, a computer is just a processor with some memory, capable of running tiny instructions like “store 5 in memory location 23459.” Why would we express a program as a text file in a programming language, instead of writing processor instructions?

The advantages:

  1. Conciseness: programming languages allow us to express common sequences of commands more concisely. C++ provides some especially powerful shorthands.
  2. Maintainability: modifying code is easier when it entails just a few text edits, instead of rearranging hundreds of processor instructions. C++ is object oriented (more on that in Lectures 7-8), which further improves maintainability.
  3. Portability: different processors make different instructions available. Programs written as text can be translated into instructions for many different processors; one of C++’s strengths is that it can be used to write programs for nearly any processor.

C++ is a high-level language: when you write a program in it, the shorthands are sufficiently expressive that you don’t need to worry about the details of processor instructions. C++ does
give access to some lower-level functionality than other languages (e.g. memory addresses).

Top comments (1)

jodoesgit profile image

Would this boil down to something specific? Like working with hardware versus software? Cause I feel like that might be part of it. But I'm not entirely sure. I actually know more now about C++ than I did before. Which was absolutely zero, beyond its name. Thank you, my brother!