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Re: [std-proposals] Pragmas using multiple C++ standards within the same project

From: Arthur O'Dwyer <arthur.j.odwyer_at_[hidden]>
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2022 12:31:53 -0500
On Sun, Nov 27, 2022 at 12:12 PM Mehmet Kayaalp via Std-Proposals <
std-proposals_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> James, I believe you haven’t read my original posting—my apologies if I am
> mistaken and repeating myself unnecessarily: I believe C++ is on the right
> track by evolving itself over time. However, the ideal backward
> compatibility requirement as imposed hinders natural selection, which is at
> the core of evolution. As I said earlier: evolution involves not only the
> addition of new, worthy features to the gene pool but also the elimination
> of the old and nasty ones.
> Take a house metaphor. We continuously have been hoarding all new modern
> tools and storing them in this house, which has a limited capacity. The
> limitation here refers to our cognitive capacity. The bar you set for a
> “good” C++ programmer is raised every three years and, unfortunately, “the
> sky is the limit” does not apply to most mere mortals.

The same house metaphor is used by Sherlock Holmes himself, in *A Study in
Scarlet* (1887). It might be interesting to consider whether Holmes'
attitude here is "right" — what counter-arguments might one present against
it? — and to what extent the same arguments and counter-arguments apply to

His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary
literature, philosophy and politics he appeared to know next to nothing.
Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the naivest way who he might
be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I
found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the
composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this
nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the
sun appeared to be to me such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly
realize it.

“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of
surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”

“To forget it!”

“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like
a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you
choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across,
so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at
best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty
in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed
as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the
tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large
assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think
that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent.
Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you
forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance,
therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

“But the Solar System!” I protested.

“What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently; “you say that we
go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth
of difference to me or to my work.”

I was on the point of asking him what that work might be, but something in
his manner showed me that the question would be an unwelcome one.


Received on 2022-11-27 17:32:05