2023-10-10 22:02:22-04:00 - Are C and C++ easier to learn than the Ada programming language?

I often read people on the Internet opining that the Ada programming language is harder to learn that C and C++. I do not think that is true. I think learning to write incorrect programs in C and C++ is easier than learning Ada in general, but it is much easier to learn to write a correct program in Ada than in C and C++!

Ada is a much more carefully designed and specified language and its design makes it a much safer programming language to learn to use correctly. An Ada programming writing a program will encounter more compile time errors, and need to think more about types, but in return will end up with a safer and easier to understand program.

C and C++, on the other hand, have so many ways that the programming can shoot themselves in the foot, that it is very, very hard to ensure that all of a program is written correctly. Many things that would be caught at compile time in Ada are missed in C and C++. Easy to write an incorrect program, but incredibly difficult to ensure that a program is correct.

I suspect that essentially all C and C++ are essentially incorrect. Certainly the prevalence of security problems and other bugs in C and C++ seems to support that.

I think Ada is one programming language that more people should be exposed to. It is very well suited as a general purpose programming langauge, and a number of properties that also make it very well suited to mission critical and safety critical programs, with interesting features for formal definition and analysis, concurrent programming, real-time programming, and embedded programming.

Ada at Wikipedia

GNAT, a free software Ada compiler

GNAT Pro, a commercially supported version of GNAT, from Adacore

Alire Ada source package manager

Adacore's resources for learning Ada

SPARK, the formally defined subset of Ada

Adacore learning resource on Enhancing Verification with SPARK and Ada

Adacore learning resource on Concurrency and Real-Time

Adacore learning resource for Embedded Programming