Scientific and Engineering C++: Hello ANSI/ISO!

        Both experienced and novice C++ programmers face a new challenge: the upcoming ANSI/ISO C++ standard. Sure, the standard will make C++ easier to use, especially on multiple platforms. But a glance at the draft will tell you that most of us have lots to learn: more than half the draft defines a large, sophisticated class library. Sooner or later, we'll all have to learn this ANSI/ISO library. We're taking our plunge now and we invite you to join us. Our plan is twofold: we'll try to force the ANSI/ISO classes into our own ways of working and we'll adapt our style to the strengths of the ANSI/ISO classes. If the ANSI/ISO classes bend, great! Then we are that much closer to being able to use them routinely. If they break, we'll adapt, that's life. By this push/pull approach we hope to uncover the easiest migration path, at least in the context of scientific and engineering applications. Our first application will be an initialization routine for a simplified finite element program; our first version will try to make the ANSI/ISO library work like FORTRAN. No, we don't program this way, but FORTRAN is still the reference for compact, high performance numerical programs. By demonstrating that standard C++ can be written in a FORTRAN style, we know that we can always have a basis for comparing performance. Moreover, we'll help veteran FORTRAN programmers ease into C++. Later we'll see what improvements a more C++ style will add.

By: John J. Barton and Lee R. Nackman

Published in: RC20347 in 1996

This Research Report is not available electronically. Please request a copy from the contact listed below. IBM employees should contact ITIRC for a copy.

Questions about this service can be mailed to .