> Plus C's lack of initialisation also hurt a lot, no?
I remember a thread here on LWN a while back where people were complaining about a performance regression in the kernel caused by zeroing struct page. So it seems that at least in some corner cases, not initializing memory is a feature. In a perfect world, non-initialization probably should be something that the programmer has to ask for specifically, rather than the default. But C was designed in the 1970s-- give it a break already.
When C++ was designed, in the mid-1980s, the decision was made to keep all the old uninitialized variable behavior and add some more. So if you create a C++ class with some primitives, and forget to initialize them in one of the constructors, they'll be uninitialized. This also applies to copy constructors. The rationale was that programmers shouldn't have to pay for what they didn't use.
Luckily there is some relief in sight, in the shape of Coverity and similar static analysis tools. These can catch most uninitialized variables.