Why does Google want to replace C++? | by Diego Perez | Aug, 2022 - Medium .

C++ Coding



In a room full of software experts, IT professionals, and C++ language lovers, a Google engineer takes the stage and starts his presentation with the question: What comes next? With a puzzled look on their faces, some may have thought: if C++ is one of the most robust programming languages in the industry and is also part of an ISO standard, why is Google planning to replace C++ with something new?

Following the approach of presenter Chandler Carruth, where he explains that many well-known programming languages are having successors. For example, the replacement for Javascript is Typescript, for Objective-C there is swift and for Java they invented Kotlin. However, for C++ there is still no approach to replace it.

This makes sense because C++ has the best performance for high-level software, with high control of computational resources and a speed that surpasses any other programming language. But it has three failures that are quite difficult to correct, for the current state of the project:

  1. It has been accumulating decades of technical debt, which despite being a good decision at the time, is now holding back the progress of the language. Moreover, the debt is accumulated together with the technical debt of C
  2. Backward compatibility makes the process of fixing technical debt more cumbersome
  3. As part of an ISO standard, making improvements is a slow and difficult process.

In the following article, we will discuss what Google’s strategy is to address current C++ issues.