Programmers' Toolbox

In praise of C++ and Linux

submitted on 2011-02-17

The new London Stock Exchange software has finally gone live and is working without any major issue.

The new system is written in C++ and runs on top of Linux. It replaced a .Net based solution that was giving lots of downtime problems to the London Stock Exchange.

They are not the first to take such decision, the German stock exchange is also running on top of Linux.

You can read about the complete story here..

For me this reveals a few issues. First of all, I imagine that maybe the .Net solution was not properly written, having seen quite a few monster architecture designs on my work life, that would be better with minimalist approaches.

Whatever the reason behind such failure, it gave lots of bad press to Microsoft, and to the Accenture team responsible for creating the said application. I bet the team might not even be working for Accenture, knowing jobs work in UK.

So as a Linux fan it was nice to see such turn of events.

Another thing I noticed was that they decided to use C++, instead of Java, which probably would make more sense if we look at the trends that see C++ as legacy. But as much as I like managed environments, they still cannot deliver the raw performance of C and C++, or any other native language for that matter.

After so many years of IT dating with managed enviroments, I imagine that people are now realizing that except for Web applications and low demanding response applications, native languages still win and will continue to do so.

In a way this a Deja-vu von the late seventies where P-Code enviroments, Lisp based machines and Smalltalk VMs where all the rage. Eventually they faded out, only to be taken up again by Java and later .Net.

I do program every day in Java and still like a lot the language, and lets be honest, it allows for very nice tools. But I am also having fun keeping my C++ skills up to date.