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Professional C++ by Scott J. Kleper, Nicholas A. Solter

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Chapter 18. Developing Cross-Platform and Cross-Language Applications

C++ programs can be compiled to run on a variety of computing platforms and the language has been rigorously defined to ensure that programming in C++ for one platform is very similar to programming in C++ for another. Yet, despite the standardization of the language, platform differences eventually come into play when writing professional-quality programs in C++. Even when development is limited to a particular platform, small differences in compilers can elicit major programming headaches. This chapter examines the necessary complication of programming in a world with multiple platforms and multiple programming languages.

The first part of this chapter surveys the platform-related issues that C++ programmers encounter. A platform is the collection of all of the details that make up your development and/or run-time system. For example, your platform may be a Microsoft C++ compiler running on Windows XP on a Pentium processor. Alternatively, your platform might be the gcc compiler running on Linux on a PowerPC processor. Both of these platforms are able to compile and run C++ programs, but there are significant differences between them.

The second part of this chapter looks at how C++ can interact with other programming languages. While C++ is a general-purpose language, it may not always be the right tool for the job. Through a variety of mechanisms, you can integrate C++ with other languages that may better serve ...

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