Teaching Geek std C – forgot the pain of it!

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Teaching Geek std C and I’d really forgotten the pain of working in non-oop std C land.

First hurdle he hit was returning a multidimensional array from a function (the map from the () function). So he figured out from the docs that the had to return a pointer to the array but then had to learn about stack variables going away when a function returns…

I’d forgotten just how painful allocating and deallocating multidimensional arrays in std C is, especially if you actually put in the error checking and code to clean up if you fail part way through allocating all the second level array memory.

He kept telling me how much easier this would be in Python. Which made me think of Apple’s latest restriction on languages allowed on the iPhone OS. Tying yourself to old school languages can be a problem in the long haul… ObjectiveC has evolved some, however it clearly needs to keep evolving as the hardware gets faster (e.g., garbage collection) or the entire platform gets left behind. Obviously this is not an immediate issue, nor even a near term issue, but at some point it may be.

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