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Table of contents
1.
Introduction 
2.
Why is Carbon needed?
3.
Getting Started With Carbon
4.
Features of Carbon 
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
When did Carbon language is introduced?
5.2.
Is Carbon language Bi-directional?
5.3.
Is Carbon language an open source?
5.4.
Is Carbon language an interpreted language?
6.
Conclusion 
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Is Carbon the next C++?

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Prerita Agarwal
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23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction 

C++, the successor to the C programming language, is undoubtedly one of the most powerful languages available today. It is the older object-oriented programming language with a versatile design and a wide range of compatibility. C++ has influenced newer programming languages such as Java, allowing it to create games, medical devices, AI and control systems, and various other applications. 

Introduction

So, what’s new in this article? Today, we are going to talk about whether Carbon is next to C++ or not. We will also discuss the major differences between them along with frequently asked questions. 

Is Carbon the next C++

Why is Carbon needed?

C++ is still the most popular programming language for performance-critical software, with huge and expanding codebases and investments. It struggles, though, to advance and satisfy the demands of developers. Also, it is incredibly challenging to improve C++ incrementally. Because of the difficulties with its evolution process and the technical debt itself. 

What is the solution to this?  

why is carbon needed

The best way to solve these issues is to start with a strong foundation language. Yes, you heard it right. 

Go, Swift, Kotlin, Rust, and many other existing modern languages already offer an excellent developer experience. Unfortunately, the designs of these languages present significant barriers to adoption and migration from C++. 

Henceforth, Carbon, according to Google developer Chandler Carruth, could serve as a successor language to C++

According to the documentation, Carbon "is designed around interoperability with C++ as well as large-scale adoption and migration for existing C++ codebases and developers." So, yes, Carbon is next to C++. 

This would be similar to how Microsoft developed Typescript to improve JavaScript and Kotlin to reinforce Java's weak points. 

So, yes this is happening now. 

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Getting Started With Carbon

We will discuss what Carbon is, its features, how it differs from C++, and many more. 

Getting started with Carbon

Carbon is an open-source, statically typed, compiled programming language developed by Google to replace C++. Carbon provides developers with modern programming practices such as generics, modular code organization, and simple syntax. 

  • The language was recently unveiled at the CPP North conference in Toronto by Google developer Chandler Carruth. 
     
  • Carbon is also very user-friendly, with a gentle learning curve for C++ developers, and it provides more expressivity and support for existing software design and architecture.
     
  • Carbon is still an experiment in its early stages. Having said that, many features that will assist you in writing the Carbon code you'll love have yet to be added.

What's wrong with C++

Given that C++ is a fork of C and that C is a 50-year-old language, it's not surprising that the language has significant challenges. According to the Carbon team, over time, C++ designers added features rather than changed them, which results in complex interactions. Whereas, the  Carbon Language aims to be a clean slate. 

Caruth shared some of the language's highlights on the forum to explain why a C++ developer might want to consider incorporating Carbon into their codebase.

  • Introduce Keywords and a Basic Grammar
     
  • The function input parameters are read-only.
     
  • Pointers allow for indirect access as well as mutability.
     
  • The package root namespace is named using expressions.
     
  • Import APIs by package name.
     
  • A method with a single inheritance is declared by an explicit object parameter. By default, classes are final.
     
  • Generics are powerful, definition-checked types that explicitly implement interfaces.


Let us now discuss the features of the Carbon programming language. 

Features of Carbon 

Carbon and C++ share many similarities. It incorporates modern programming practises, C++ support, interoperability, memory safety, and generics. 

These are some notable Carbon programming language features, and we'll go over some of them now.

Features of carbon

  • Interoperability with and migration from existing C++ code
    As a successor language, Carbon must be logically compatible with its predecessor language. Carbon and C++ are bidirectionally (two-way) compatible, and either language can be used with the other. In simple words, C++ code can be called from Carbon and vice versa. That means, it is going to be easier to bring your existing libraries and migrate all of your existing code. 
     
  • Modern Generics System 
    Generics is one of many great features found in modern programming languages such as Rust and Go. 

    • Carbon includes a modern generics system with checked definitions and opt-in templates for seamless interoperability with existing C++ code.
       
    • Generic definitions are fully type-checked, eliminating the need to instantiate to check for errors and increasing code confidence.
       
    • It saves compile time by not having to re-check the definition for each instantiation.
       
  • Memory Safety
    • Memory safety is an important aspect of using C++. Carbon aims to improve memory safety by tracking uninitialized states, enforcing initialization, and discouraging initialization bugs.
       
    • Carbon will include fundamental APIs and idioms for debugging dynamic bound checks. 
       
    • It will also support hardened builds with a comprehensive debug mode by default. Carbon's safety strategy could also include some programming models with guaranteed memory safety.


Now, you must be wondering what could be the difference between Carbon and C++. 

Carbon and C++ can only be compared based on their shared features because Carbon is new and the language is not yet production-ready. C++ has been around for a while, and developers have been able to share their frustrations with the language. Carbon, hopefully, will minimise the numerous C++ issues that TypeScript did for JavaScript.


You can also practice with the help of Online C++ Compiler

Frequently Asked Questions

When did Carbon language is introduced?

Carbon language was introduced in July 2022 by a Google engineer.

Is Carbon language Bi-directional?

Carbon language is Bi-directional as it allows us to call C++ language code from Carbon and also Carbon language code to C++.

Is Carbon language an open source?

Carbon Language is an open-source language.

Is Carbon language an interpreted language?

Carbon Language is a byte-code-interpreted language.

Conclusion 

In this article, we have extensively discussed Carbon, the next C++. We have also discussed the difference between Carbon and C++. 

C++ vs Java

Also check out this article - Pair in C++

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