Mel is similar to C++ in the same way that a car that has smashed
itself into a lamppost is similar to a car. It actually is more
similar to a unix scripting language called TCL, but it does have C++
elements in it.
Mel lacks the typesafety and data structures that you find in C++. On
top of that, the way to call commands is this ugly, ugly method of
typing shell like command lines directly into the script. These
commands may or may not return all sorts of data types, or nothing at
all. Because nodes are referred to by string names instead of special
node objects, it's really difficult to inspect them. Lines can be
ended with a simple carriage return - no semi colon necessary - which
makes commands ambigious and hard to read.
Add into this a completely screwed up way of testing the scrips. The
only way to compile and run is to 'source' the script in the script
window. Or cut and paste directly into the window body. Both ways are
very slow and error prone. Writing new code and testing it is torture.
Add to the the poor documentation for Mel and the unintuitiveness of
the Mel help files.
And there's little hope of extending Mel beyond the very limited scope
that's deigners intended for it. Other language let you create
sophisticated UIs, have file IO libraries, can use networks, and other
things. It's easy to write modules to add sophisticated behaviour that
can be compiled and stored in files on disk. Mel pretty much lets you
read and write variables and do simple math.
A ten foot tall pile of putrid, rotting corpses would not begin to
describe my contempt for the Mel scripting language. I'm using Maya to
build models for video games, and need to do some sophisticated things
to my meshs with scripts. If I were using a language like Python or
Java, I could do very sophisticated things in a very short period of
time. Using Mel, it takes hours to even do basic things.