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Sure, there's no escaping C, but that's mainly because of the investments we've put into it. Same goes for C++, but it's far more manageable from security point of view. Today we have modern languages which are only a tad slower than C, yet which guarantee safety and control. See Ada2012 for example. Also optional unsafe/unmanaged code blocks can really help with maintaining performance in critical parts while keeping the non-critical parts safe/managed. This goes as far as optional garbage collecting for certain objects and manual for others. Flexibility, none of which C provides and which makes C a horrible language in todays world.

If only someone would start re-writing de-facto low-level infrastructure such as kernels(say Linux) and userspace tools and programs(servers such as apache, implementations such as for Python and Ruby, libraries, ...) in something like Rust or equivalent which guarantees both type and memory safety and has strong emphasis on concurrency and encourages immutable state etc.

Maybe one day we simply don't have to care so much about what's "secure" and what's "vulnerable". Because the concept of software vulnerability is destructive. Yes, it employs people, but these people create no real value, they just fight the destructiveness of vulnerable software. They are worthless in ideal world.




There is a very important concept in software called "good enough". Sure, there are language that could be better than C/C++, but 90% of what see in a desktop is written in C or C++. For a bad language, this is good enough, I would say.

It would be different if we had a language with the same performance characteristics and dramatically better high level features, but to this point we still don't have it. That is why software developers are in no rush to move from C to another of the languages that have been discussed lately.


I would rather attribute the current pace of things and C and C++ popularity to what is invested in those languages. Tons of big projects are written in C and C++. Many of them were begun during times when performance was a major issue unlike today. Also the ability to find contributors for a C and C++ projects is going to be far easier than for projects written in say Go or Rust or any other relatively suitable language. Not to talk about libraries even.

For a typical new desktop application, C and C++ have been long dead for at least a decade now, thanks to C# and .NET. It's a tad different on Linux and Mac though.

If we were to start from a scratch, I'm sure C wouldn't have such popularity as it had 20 years ago. The language is inferior by it's design on modern standards. Yes, there are domains where it's still relevant, but consumer PC(or let alone mobile) is not one of them. If C were relevant, I'm sure we'd rather write mobile apps in C instead of say Java.




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