PDC Languages Panel and (Shortened) Lambdas Talk

At PDC 2010 this week, I participated in a panel and gave one talk. Both are now online for live on-demand viewing.

Note: The talks should work on any browser. They do not require Silverlight. If you get a message that Silverlight is needed, it just made a mistake in auto-detecting your browser (I’m told this happens with Firefox sometimes), so just click on one of the alternate formats and Bob’s your uncle.

Here they are:

1. Languages Panel (update: new link)

I got to participate again this year on a fun panel on programming languages and software development, together with fellow panelists Anders Hejlsberg (creator of Turbo Pascal, Delphi, and C#), Gilad Bracha (of Java and Newspeak fame), and Mark S. Miller (of Ecmascript and E and general security fame). Our esteemed moderator, Erik Meijer, is one of the original designers of LINQ in C# and has contributed heavily to many other languages.

2. Lambdas, Lambdas Everywhere (update: new link)

This is a shortened version of the full lambdas talk I gave at C&B on Wednesday, and will be giving again at C++ and Beyond Encore this December. To get the full talk, come to C&B Encore… but to get a good chunk of it, check out this version online.

Note: Just before the talk, I went around the room to chat with individual attendees, and discovered that a lot of the audience members were C# programmers who didn’t realize this was a C++ talk. Just before we went live, I spoke up to the room and alerted everywhere about that, and nearly everyone stayed anyway, which was nice. But if you wonder why I mentioned C# lambdas a number of times to this audience, that’s why.

C++0x Current Hot Issues

Anthony Williams has posted an excellent summary of the two major language design questions going into next month’s ISO C++ meeting in Batavia, IL, USA.

As we wind down C++0x, we are still working on an ever-decreasing set of open issues. Unsurprisingly, they’re in the newest features, as we bake them and see how they integrate with the rest of the standard.



Another New Talk: Elements of Design

Elements of Design

At C++ and Beyond next week (and in December) I’ll also be giving a brand-new half-day talk on Elements of Design.

I’m passionate about design, in part because it requires specific skills and taste, but most off all because it’s so important for every programmer — whether building a new library or extending one, building a new class or maintaining one, and that covers pretty much all of us.

In recent years, I’ve been spending a lot of my time leading design work in diverse areas ranging from general- and special-purpose library design, to systems software architecture, to programming language design and evolution, including participating in the crafting of various C++0x language and library features.

Although those areas are pretty diverse, they also have a lot of commonalities, and the insights and learnings apply directly to mainstream classes-and-libraries production software design. I’ve organized the topics to cover proven design practices at three levels:

  1. Design process: Running a design effort to set it up for repeatable success. This isn’t about heavyweight Process with a capital P, it’s about practices that  apply universally to projects of any size — when the projects are smaller, the elements can be informal.
  2. Design principles: Fundamental truths that guide design choices toward high quality.
  3. Design elements: Key specific design points and best practices to learn and apply.

We’ll build these areas from the bottom up — first key elements as the foundation, then the principles that unify the elements, and finally the process that enables staying true to the principles. Each process, principle, and practice is illustrated using real-world examples drawn from personal experience in many different design areas, but always targets “how you can use this today”: concrete skills and techniques for the development of well-designed production software and applications.

I’m looking forward very much to this topic in particular, not only in this talk itself but also in the informal and unstructured fireside time built into the C++ and Beyond schedule. Together with my other new talk on Lambdas, Lambdas Everywhere, my part of C++ and Beyond will be 100% new material never seen in public before — 270 minutes’ worth (whew). I look forward to seeing many of you there next week, or at the December “Encore” event where registration opened two weeks ago.




C++ and Beyond Session: Lambdas, Lambdas Everywhere

Lambdas, Lambdas Everywhere

We’ll be posting abstracts (summaries) of the C++ and Beyond 2010 sessions over the coming days over at the C&B site. Below is the first, for my talk on “Lambdas, Lambdas Everywhere.”

This is a brand new talk. I delivered a ‘sneak peek’ preview of a subset of this material in conjunction with the ISO C++ standards meeting in Switzerland two months ago, but the full talk will be given publicly for the first time at C++ and Beyond.

Historical trivia: This talk exists because Bjarne Stroustrup asked for it. Bjarne knew that I felt lambda functions were a game-changing feature that would have a pervasive impact on C++ coding style across many domains, and he asked me to write up the examples demonstrating why. This talk is the result.

Here’s the abstract:

Why care about C++0x lambda functions? Syntactically, they are nothing but sugar for function objects. However, they are an essential and enabling sugar that will change the way we will write C++ code more often than most people realize.

This talk will cover what lambda functions are and how to use them effectively, including how lambdas touch many wide-ranging kinds of code — from their convenience when writing concurrent and scalably parallel code, to how they stand to revolutionize STL usability and programming, to how they enable such small conveniences as local functions and local variable initialization.

Note that lambda functions, although futuristic, are not a far-future feature. They are available today in several shipping C++ compilers, including Intel C++ 11, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, and gcc 4.5. The future is now. Come find out how this powerful feature affects you and your code.

About the speaker: Herb Sutter is an architect on the Windows C++ team at Microsoft and the chair of the ISO C++ standards committee. He is the main designer of lambda functions in Visual C++ 2010 and their integration with the VC++ Parallel Patterns Library, and is partly responsible for the design of lambda functions in the C++0x standard, notably their final syntax.

C++ and Beyond Encore: Public Registration Now Open

Public registration is now open for the overflow “Encore” showing of C++ and Beyond. The deadline for early-bird discount registration is November 14, but if you want to make sure you get a place it would probably be good to register sooner (the first showing sold out during the early-bird period).

If you weren’t able to get into the first one before it sold out, here is a second chance to attend the same event with the same speakers; the same location; and the same solid technical program on C++ and directly related technologies, including many new and up-to-the-minute-current talks that have never before been presented publicly anywhere else. The only thing that’s different is the date: C++ and Beyond Encore runs from December 13 (evening) through 16, 2010.

Technical Program

The talk schedule with titles and speakers is available at the Location and Schedule page. The topics are designed to provide a balance of useful and pragmatic material, ranging from broadly applicable design techniques to hard-core deep dives on specific important language features. The program includes substantial coverage of:

  • C++0x features and impact: In-depth discussion of move semantics (Scott) and lambdas (me) take up most of  day 1.
  • High performance: Hardware performance issues and techniques in Scott’s “CPU Caches” talk on day 2, and then a double-barreled hit on day 3 with Andrei’s “CAS” talk on high performance concurrency and his “Super Size Me” talk on scalability-focused issues.
  • Effective design: On day 2 Andrei has lots to say revisiting “Containers and Iterators,”  and I’ll be launching day 3 with “Elements of Design” focused on design lessons learned in many domains but all useful today in your production C++ code.
  • Three panels: The first and last are dedicated to answer your questions, submitted in advance and live at the event. The second promises to be an interesting and informative “cage match” where each of the speakers will choose two or three issues that they feel strongly about, but that are potentially controversial and bound to lead to lots of instructive discussion and debate about ideal designs and pragmatic tradeoffs.

We look forward to seeing many of you in the beautiful Pacific Northwest later this year!

Watch the C++ and Beyond site and RSS feed for further announcements, including detailed talk abstracts to be posted soon.

Updated 10/22 to remove the deferred GotW-0x talk.