In the post Why Do We Use C++, I made the following statement.
Another, often forgotten strength of C++ and of many traditional modular and modular-turned-OO languages is linking, or more generally, we might say 'package management'. C++ innately offers build-time linking and runtime 'linking' is also usually available (i.e., DLLs). This allows graceful scaling. Tool support for this in C++ is strong and reasonably robust because C++ is so frequently used to build enormous projects. It's possible to build massive projects in pieces in ways that are awkward or impossible in many functional or logic languages.
C++ good at linking and package management??? That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard all week. This is one of the weakest aspects of C++. Where to start:
* no standard ABI for compiled code. ("Don't mix compilers")
* no standard for managing namespaces and packages like in Java.
* Very hard to evolve a class and keep binary compatibility. Lots of obscure compiler depend rules need to be followed to do this. ("Change a .h file, rebuild everything that uses it")
* dynamically loading code modules has to be done manually. Java, Python and other languages load classes on demand.
* C++ code can call C code, but any other kind of mixed language development is a nightmare.
* easy to break features like dynamic_cast when loading share libraries. (My fun debugging adventure this last week...)
I think Simon makes some excellent points here. So I'd like to ask the community.
What is the best language (and what are the best language features) for linking/loading and package and library management?