Re: Response to ROOT criticism?

From: Maarten Ballintijn <>
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 2006 16:20:17 -0400


Andy Buckley wrote:
> Rene Brun wrote:

>> Andy Buckley wrote:
> Here's a couple of other points I disagree with :)
> * I disagree with your point that all particle physics researchers
> these days have to know C++ very well and, by implication, write it
> well. In my experience, many HEP researchers write dismal C++. But
> that's opinion, so let's move on :)

In my experience this is not at all unique to C++, people (including physicists) write bad code in other languages as well, e.g. Fortran, Perl, Python, Visual Basic, ... Arguably "simpler" languages then C++. It seems to have much more to do with the focus (time?) on writing quality software and discipline then anything else.

> * There's an assumption above that the critical path is in the speed
> of the code. However, there's also the substantial time spent
> getting your code to work, which is likely to be greater when
> writing C++ than with a rapid deployment scripting language. If the
> number crunching is done in compiled code, then you *can* have your
> cake and eat it. SciPy ( does this with great success
> but - whoops - ROOT can't get any benefit from NumPy arrays.

The Rapid Development aspect of modern scripting languages has much more to do with supporting libraries then anything else. And the question of memory management can rarely be avoided in all but the simplest little scripts (in which case it does not matter in C++ either). In addition, in my experience auto declaration is as often a source of problems as it is saving time.



Maarten Ballintijn <>
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Received on Fri Aug 04 2006 - 22:20:25 MEST

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