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Let's be fair to printf() .. it's not crappy it's just that it was designed when priorities were different. For example, a target computer at the time had maybe 64Kbytes (yep) or LESS of RAM (I'm thinking PDP-11 as well as the emerging 8-bit microprocessors), and the developers time was less valuable (on an hourly basis) than the cost of running the computer.

However, it's time has come and gone, and it is certainly out of date. To my mind the worst thing about it is the implicit rather than explicit parameter indexing, which makes localization much harder (you can't change order in the format string to match language needs w/o changing the argument order to the call as well).