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the sad state of debug performance in c++
By now, it should (hopefully) be common knowledge that the term “zero cost abstraction” is a lie. To be fair, it’s more of a misnomer – had the term been “abstraction likely to result in zero runtime overhead after optimizations” then it would have been much more honest, but I can see why that didn’t fly…
Most C++ developers tend to accept the fact that “zero cost abstractions” provide zero runtime overhead only with optimizations enabled, and that they have a negative impact on compilation speed. The same developers tend to believe that the benefits of such abstractions are so valuable that having your program perform poorly in debug mode (i.e. without optimizations enabled) and compile more slowly is worth it.
I used to be one of them.