C++ is a modern object-oriented programming language that was originally designed for the application environment of the UNIX system and its derivatives, including Linux. It was designed with an eye toward systems programming within embedded systems and systems with limited resources. As such, the language included mechanisms that stressed efficiency, flexibility, economy of expression, and high performance achieved by combining low-level and high-level operations with a strong dose of common sense. Since its introduction more than thirty years ago, C++ has found wide applicability throughout desktop applications, e-commerce servers, database servers, search engine servers, and performance-critical hardware of a more dedicated nature ranging from telephonic equipment and navigational satellites.

C++ was originally introduced so as to furnish object-oriented programming features to the classical C programming language. Its class hierarchies offer support for the four principal features of object oriented programming: abstraction, data hiding, inheritance, and polymorphism. As a compiled language, C++ generates fully native machine code that can execute directly upon the hardware with maximum possible efficiency. Compilers have been developed by numerous vendors for a multitude of systems and applications environments. Unlike many other languages, C++ has been defined by an international standards body, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which precisely defines the meaning of a conformant implementation. The efficient and notationally concise nature of the language has led to its imitation—the sincerest form of flattery—in multiple popular languages, including Java, C#, and D.

One of the most powerful features of C++ is its so-called templates. These formalisms enable Buy Now Depot’s software engineers to engage in state-of-the-art “generic programming” that makes optimal use of functions, classes, and aliasing. Templates generate extraordinarily optimized code, albeit its size on disk may be misleadingly large. Templates extend and enhance the macro substitution facility that occurs in many more simplistic languages and that offers conditional compilation control by string manipulation but is unable to introduce dynamic functionality into the programming environment.