March 23, 2001, 10:20 AM —
Bjarne Stroustrup is the creator of C++, one of the most widely used languages that allows object-oriented programming. He also authored The C++ Programming Language and The Design and Evolution of C++. Stroustrup is currently the head of AT&T Labs's large-scale programming research department in New Jersey. His research interests include distributed systems, operating systems, simulation, design, and programming.
LinuxWorld.com: Object-oriented languages have been around since the late 1960s. Yet, the object-oriented revolution took place more than two decades later. How do you explain this delay and which conclusions can we draw from it?
Bjarne Stroustrup: Part of the reason is that changes in people's behavior always take far more time than we are willing to believe. Another major reason is that some people had (and have) unreasonable expectations about "revolutions." The idea that there is one right way to solve essentially every problem for essentially every user is fundamentally wrong. I'm a great fan of the idea of object-oriented programming and the design ideals and techniques that it supports -- originating with Simula 67. However, those are not the only effective techniques. Much programming is best done with techniques that do not fall within a narrow definition of "object-oriented." And if you broaden the definition of "object-oriented" sufficiently for it not to be an obstacle to good programming and design, you get something that is basically meaningless. See my paper, "Why C++ isn't just an Object-Oriented Programming Language."