Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: C and C++ --- NPS

Author: David Rasmussen

Date: 09:12:41 12/27/02

Go up one level in this thread

On December 27, 2002 at 07:06:02, Dave Gomboc wrote:

>On December 26, 2002 at 21:36:49, Matt Taylor wrote:
>>C has been around for more than 30 years. C++ is still somewhat young. Some of
>>the C++ constructs optimize very well, but many don't, particularly templates.
>I think this advice is a few years behind the curve.  It's precisely templates
>that allow C++ linear algebra libraries, for instance, to exceed the speed of
>their Fortran counterparts.

Agreed. But I think I will refrain from posting in this thread from now on. The
subject of the thread is whether NPS is inherently affected by the choice of C
versus C++, and implicitly whether C++ is a suitable language for a chess
engine. And the answers are obvious in both cases to anyone who is not a novice
at C++. A novice at C will write a poor engine in that language too, as is the
case for any other language. The question in itself is reasonable, if you don't
know the answer. After all, asking the same question for Perl, Python, SML and
Common Lisp (given existing and widely used implementations) will yield a
totally different question. NPS will drop immensely in those cases, and I for
one don't think that those languages are a good choice in practice for a
competitive engine. For C++, these problems aren't true. That doesn't mean that
C++ is necesarily better than, say, C. But it is definitely not worse, as some
people here seem to think. If a programmer knows only Perl, we will have a
problem creating a competitive engine. If a programmer knows only C++, he will
have no problem generating a competitive engine.


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