The Last Waltz

Douglas C. Schmidt
C++ Report
January 1999

In the spring of 1989 I wrote my first paper about C++. As I reflect over the last ten years, I'm struck by the magnitude of advances in software technology. During this time, we've witnessed the growth and maturation of OO, C++, frameworks, patterns, the Web, CORBA/DCOM, components, Java, middleware, and UML. These are just some of the key languages, tools, and methods, now firmly ensconced in mainstream software development, that have been featured prominently in the C++ Report in the past decade.

Openness to alternative viewpoints and solutions is a hallmark of the C++ community that has always impressed me. The feature articles on Eiffel in this issue underscore this attitude. Paul Johnson and Patrick Doyle each present articles that illustrate how knowledge of Eiffel features and idioms, particularly ``design by contract,'' is important for C++ developers. Likewise, Richard Gillam, C++ Report's resident Java Liaison, explains how C++ developers programming in Java can learn to live without operator overloading, enumerated types, macros, and consts. In addition, Michael Kircher and I illustrate how we used CORBA to simplify inter-language interoperability between Java and C++. I firmly believe that keeping abreast of good features and patterns from other language communities will enabled us to remain on the forefront during this hectic period of rapid technological change.

Speaking of hectic, to regain a modicum of control over my own increasingly hectic life, I'm officially ``retiring'' as the editor of the Patterns++ section, though I'll continue to write columns with Steve Vinoski. After this issue, Brad Appleton will become the Patterns++ editor. I encourage you to contact him at <bradapp@enteract.com> for information on how to submit patterns-related articles to the C++ Report.

I'm grateful to have shared the past ten years of technology innovation along with all the talented editors, authors, columnists, and readers of the C++ Report, first as a grad student at the University of California, Irvine and now as a faculty member at Washington University. A chief motivation for becoming an academic was my desire to explore new software technologies and new application domains. Engaging in this type of systems software research is time consuming. In particular, over the past several years I've found that the demands of publishing, teaching, advising, and fund raising has left precious little time for what I enjoy best: developing communication software applications in order to gain deeper insights into the essential architectures, patterns, frameworks, and components.

The editorial baton of the C++ Report now has been completely to passed the capable hands of Brad Appleton and Robert Martin. I'm looking forward to joining with all of you for another decade of technology innovation that's as exciting as the last one. So put a bookmark in your browser to http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~schmidt and feel free to drop by for a virtual visit periodically to see what's going on!


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Last modified 11:34:38 CDT 28 September 2006