Python does not have access modifiers. C++ does. It makes absolutely no sense to write Python code in C++ while entirely oblivious to basic, age-old C++ features just because your background lies somewhere else and you failed or refused to learn even the basics.
And you know what actually works instead of just "working fine"? Having the compiler throw an error if a careless programmer tries to access private variables.
> In my IDE in c++ I can quickly refactor m_ to non-m to make it "semantically public" without having to edit header files, change struct packing order / ABI, etc.
Don't you understand that's completely irrelevant? Just set the private member as private and it does not matter at all which naming convention you follow. Don't you understand that having to do nothing is better than expecting team members to be prescient about your convoluted and absurd naming convention used to avoid best practices?
> Besides, in c++ people can always cast your intricately-protected object to a void pointer and start manipulating it nefarioisly anyway.
Don't you understand that't entirely irrelevant? You're trying to argue that it's ok to ignore best practices such as using member access specifyers, which actually get the compiler to validate the code, if you stick with naming conventions, but arguing that it's technically possible to circumvent compiler checks under some specific circumstances is an absurd statement. Think about it: if you feel that enforcing a coding style is enough to enforce private member access then don't you agree that the same code review that is supposed to enforce your personal style can quite easily catch your hypothetical casts?
I understand them well, and I've experimented with their use in my own projects, and decided they're a minor complexity I don't need to bother with. And that decision has served me well.
Dogmatic adherence to "best practices" is silly, even when people can agree on what they are. Learn them, yes, evaluate them carefully, but ultimately choose what works best for your constraints. Including what your team's conventions are.
The programmers I've seen taking most about "best practices" generally don't think very critically about their approaches and go with dogmatic answers, often tying up their codebases in ridiculous complexity. E.g. the "best practice" now to make a website is a React.js SPA, and now every site out there takes 20 seconds to load with 10 little spinner icons while all the HTTP requests go out to their microservices on docker clusters, and everything requires a hundred-library-deep build stack.
That’s just the cost of progress. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. No pain, no gain. There are always casualties in war. Get with the times, grandpa.