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CppCon Program Highlights, 9 of N: Safety

The CppCon 2014 conference program has been posted for the upcoming September conference. We've received requests that the program continue to be posted in "bite-sized" posts, a few sessions at a time, to make the 100+ sessions easier to absorb, so here is another set of talks. This series of posts will conclude once the entire conference program has been posted in this way.

 

Safety and C++ are complementary, and C++ is regularly used in safety-critical systems including with strong static analysis support across multiple popular compilers. From the latest jet fighter avionics systems to the most modern Clang sanitizers, CppCon has a number of talks in this area including the following four. As always, the talks are by Those Who Know and Those Who Do -- including in some of the world's most famous codebases.

In this post:

  • The Joint Strike Fighter Coding Standard: Using C++ on Mission and Safety Critical Platforms
  • Sanitize your C++ code
  • Exception-Safe Code
  • 0xBADC0DE

 

The Joint Strike Fighter Coding Standard: Using C++ on Mission and Safety Critical Platforms

The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the first major DOD aircraft program to use C++. Much of this software is either safety critical or mission critical and so must be written in such a way as to be clear, readable, unambiguous, testable, and maintainable. We discuss the driving requirements behind the standard and its evolution. We give a quick overview of our standard and discuss how it differs from later standards such as MISRA C++. We discuss lessons learned over our nine year history of applying the standard to a large embedded software program. We also address ambiguities in rules and difficulties with automated checking of conformance with the standard.

Speaker: Bill Emshoff, Senior Staff Software Engineer, Lockheed Martin. Bill Emshoff has been programming in C++ for over 12 years. He is currently a Senior Staff Software Engineer working on the Joint Strike Fighter program at Lockheed Martin, where he has evolved to become an informal interpreter of the JSF coding standard and champion of static analysis as a means to catch and prevent coding errors prior to formal test.

 

Sanitize your C++ code

"Sanitizers" is a family of dynamic testing tools built into C++ compilers (Clang and GCC):•AddressSanitizer finds memory errors, such as use-after-free, buffer overflows, and leaks;

  • ThreadSanitizer finds data races, deadlocks, and other threading bugs;
  • MemorySanitizer finds uses of uninitialized memory;
  • UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer finds other kinds of undefined behavior, such as use of incorrect dynamic type, shift by illegal amount and many others.

You will learn how these tools work, how to use them on small programs and how we deploy them in large projects.

Speaker: Kostya Serebryany, Software Engineer, Google. Konstantin (Kostya) Serebryany is a Software Engineer at Google. His team develops and deploys dynamic testing tools, such as AddressSanitizer and ThreadSanitizer. Prior to joining Google in 2007, Konstantin spent 4 years at Elbrus/MCST working for Sun compiler lab and then 3 years at Intel Compiler Lab. Konstantin holds a PhD from mesi.ru and a Master from msu.ru.Twitter handle: @kayseesee

 

Exception-Safe Code

Are you 100% confident that your code is exception-safe?

Safe usage of exceptions is a non-trivial problem that the industry has struggled with for the better part of two decades. If you have fear, uncertainty, or doubt about exception safety or just want to see the best practices for using exceptions in C++ and/or C++11/14, this session is for you. We'll start with "What is the problem we are trying to solve?" and discuss alternatives, acknowledge the challenges associated with exception usage, and cover some well-meaning but misguided attempts at safety. I will then present a set of guidelines that are the basis for safe exception usage and solid implementation techniques, including how to transition from an exception-unsafe legacy code base.

When we are finished you will know how to produce code that is easier to write, easier to understand, faster, and 100% robust in the face of exceptions.

Speaker: Jon Kalb Jon has been programming in C++ for over twenty years. During the last two decades he has written C++ for Apple, Dow Chemical, Intuit, Lotus, Microsoft, Netscape, Sun, Yahoo! and some less well­‐known companies. He taught C++ in the graduate school at Golden Gate University for three years and is a founding moderator of the Boost‐User and Boost‐Interest mailing lists.

Jon is active in the Silicon Valley chapter of the ACCU and programs the C++ track at the Silicon Valley Code Camp.

 

0xBADC0DE

My motivation for this talk is my own experience as a freelancer and trainer. I have seen a lot of good and bad code in different places. As a freelancer I often had to deal with different, unknown and often large codebases. This talk tries not only to show examples of bad code, but also to analyze why it exists in the first place, and how to deal with it or fix it. I'll visit anti-patterns, but this talk is not about anti-patterns, as that would only spotlight one of the many problems.

Speaker: Jens Weller Jens is a longtime C++ expert and the organizer of the European C++ conference Meeting C++.

CppCon Program Highlights, 8 of N: C++ Tools

The CppCon 2014 conference program has been posted for the upcoming September conference. We've received requests that the program continue to be posted in "bite-sized" posts, a few sessions at a time, to make the 100+ sessions easier to absorb, so here is another set of talks. This series of posts will conclude once the entire conference program has been posted in this way.

 

Tool support is essential to modern software engineering techniques, including notably refactoring and the unit testing heavily popularized by TDD. Here are some of the CppCon talks related to such tooling. As always, the talks are by the people in the trenches, who are heavily using the tools or actively involved in developing them -- in some of the world's largest code bases and code repositories with O(10 billion) lines of preprocessed code.

In this post:

  • Large-Scale Refactoring @ Google
  • C++ Test-driven Development: Unit Testing, Code Assistance and Refactoring
  • Pragmatic Unit Testing in C++
  • A CTO's guide to Modern C++

 

Large-Scale Refactoring @ Google

Many organizations have significant investments in a large existing C++ codebase, and Google is no exception. Our code is intended to survive for decades, but continue to track new language standards as they emerge. To do so, we have developed tools and techniques which provide the ability to automatically refactor code to use new APIs as they become available.

In this talk, I'll discuss some of the reasons for doing migrations that impact hundreds of thousands of files, and how we do them at Google, using tools such as ClangMR. I'll give examples, such as our recent migration to the standardized std::unique_ptr and std::shared_ptr types and lessons we've learned from these experiences. Finally, I'll point out pitfalls others may face in doing similar work, and suggest ways that they can be avoided.

Speaker: Hyrum Wright, Software Engineer, Google. Hyrum Wright is a software engineer at Google, working on C++ library infrastructure. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation, and a contributor to Apache Subversion. In a previous life, he was a grad student. He enjoys cycling. Twitter handle: @hyrumwright

 

C++ Test-driven Development: Unit Testing, Code Assistance and Refactoring

Unit Testing and TDD, if applied correctly, lead to high quality and simple code. If done by hand, both often require writing some boiler-plate code and can be slow and cumbersome. Especially refactoring without good tool support can be a burden. Java and C# developers are used to have good tool support for these tasks to be effective. Many C++ developers often aren't even aware of the need for the practices, because without tool support and training of the goals, they are hard to discover.

This talk introduces C++ Unit Testing, Test-driven Development, and Refactoring and demonstrates the tooling available for Eclipse CDT for free on www.cevelop.com that was inspired and implemented by the author and his team.

For example, when phrasing a unit test to use a to-be-defined class, the class is generated automatically from its name used as a type. Another tool feature is simplifying a function, by extracting a sub-function and placing a call in its place.

Speaker: Peter Sommerlad, Professor, Director IFS, FHO HSR Rapperswil - IFS Institute for Software. Prof. Peter Sommerlad is head of IFS Institute for Software at FHO HSR Rapperswil. Peter is co-author of the books POSA Vol.1 and Security Patterns. His goal is to make software simpler by Decremental Development: Refactoring software down to 10% its size with better architecture, testability and quality and functionality. Peter is a member of the C++ standardization committee, ACCU, ACM, SI and president of SWEN.Website: http://wiki.hsr.ch/PeterSommerladTwitter handle: @PeterSommerlad

 

Pragmatic Unit Testing in C++

Successful adoption of unit testing goes beyond picking a framework: The effectiveness of unit testing is dependent on run-time analysis, static analysis, and other tools to make up the "iron triangle" necessary to get profitable increases in feature velocity and MTBF in the field. We'll cover where to start in a legacy codebase get the most ROI on unit testing effort, the top 5 legacy design knots and refactoring steps to loosen those knots, and how to write tests that are easy to read *and* maintain. Intermediate knowledge of linkers and preprocessors are highly recommended.

A CTO's guide to Modern C++

It's a very exciting time for C++ programmers: multiple competitive, capable toolchains to choose from, a re-invigorated standard body, and great IDEs that even die-hard emacs/edlin users are flocking toward. On the flipside, there are practical aspects that are extremely frustrating: what vendor can I pay for support of my toolchain/debugger/IDE? how can I fund open source development to move the needle in areas I care about? what static analysis tools are available that actually work? These questions, and other operational aspects of maintaining a C++ engineering organization, are covered in detail so you can immediately start covering your bases without learning the hard way.

Speaker: Matt Hargett Matt Hargett is Chief Technology Officer at PacerPro, and lives in San Francisco with his husband of 14 years. His first programming was on a TI 99/4a with his mother, and his first reverse engineering was on an 8086 to make shareware games easier to finish. Matt co-authored Pragmatic Unit Testing in C#, and has spoken at conferences around the world on network security, reverse engineering, unit testing, and static analysis. His hobbies include world travel, playing video games, and writing/publishing indie pop songs under the moniker "the making of the making of".

CppCon Program Highlights, 8 of N: C++ Tools

The CppCon 2014 conference program has been posted for the upcoming September conference. We've received requests that the program continue to be posted in "bite-sized" posts, a few sessions at a time, to make the 100+ sessions easier to absorb, so here is another set of talks. This series of posts will conclude once the entire conference program has been posted in this way.

 

Tool support is essential to modern software engineering techniques, including notably refactoring and the unit testing heavily popularized by TDD. Here are some of the CppCon talks related to such tooling. As always, the talks are by the people in the trenches, who are heavily using the tools or actively involved in developing them -- in some of the world's largest code bases and code repositories with O(10 billion) lines of preprocessed code.

In this post:

  • Large-Scale Refactoring @ Google
  • C++ Test-driven Development: Unit Testing, Code Assistance and Refactoring
  • Pragmatic Unit Testing in C++
  • A CTO's guide to Modern C++

 

Large-Scale Refactoring @ Google

Many organizations have significant investments in a large existing C++ codebase, and Google is no exception. Our code is intended to survive for decades, but continue to track new language standards as they emerge. To do so, we have developed tools and techniques which provide the ability to automatically refactor code to use new APIs as they become available.

In this talk, I'll discuss some of the reasons for doing migrations that impact hundreds of thousands of files, and how we do them at Google, using tools such as ClangMR. I'll give examples, such as our recent migration to the standardized std::unique_ptr and std::shared_ptr types and lessons we've learned from these experiences. Finally, I'll point out pitfalls others may face in doing similar work, and suggest ways that they can be avoided.

Speaker: Hyrum Wright, Software Engineer, Google. Hyrum Wright is a software engineer at Google, working on C++ library infrastructure. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation, and a contributor to Apache Subversion. In a previous life, he was a grad student. He enjoys cycling. Twitter handle: @hyrumwright

 

C++ Test-driven Development: Unit Testing, Code Assistance and Refactoring

Unit Testing and TDD, if applied correctly, lead to high quality and simple code. If done by hand, both often require writing some boiler-plate code and can be slow and cumbersome. Especially refactoring without good tool support can be a burden. Java and C# developers are used to have good tool support for these tasks to be effective. Many C++ developers often aren't even aware of the need for the practices, because without tool support and training of the goals, they are hard to discover.

This talk introduces C++ Unit Testing, Test-driven Development, and Refactoring and demonstrates the tooling available for Eclipse CDT for free on www.cevelop.com that was inspired and implemented by the author and his team.

For example, when phrasing a unit test to use a to-be-defined class, the class is generated automatically from its name used as a type. Another tool feature is simplifying a function, by extracting a sub-function and placing a call in its place.

Speaker: Peter Sommerlad, Professor, Director IFS, FHO HSR Rapperswil - IFS Institute for Software. Prof. Peter Sommerlad is head of IFS Institute for Software at FHO HSR Rapperswil. Peter is co-author of the books POSA Vol.1 and Security Patterns. His goal is to make software simpler by Decremental Development: Refactoring software down to 10% its size with better architecture, testability and quality and functionality. Peter is a member of the C++ standardization committee, ACCU, ACM, SI and president of SWEN.Website: http://wiki.hsr.ch/PeterSommerladTwitter handle: @PeterSommerlad

 

Pragmatic Unit Testing in C++

Successful adoption of unit testing goes beyond picking a framework: The effectiveness of unit testing is dependent on run-time analysis, static analysis, and other tools to make up the "iron triangle" necessary to get profitable increases in feature velocity and MTBF in the field. We'll cover where to start in a legacy codebase get the most ROI on unit testing effort, the top 5 legacy design knots and refactoring steps to loosen those knots, and how to write tests that are easy to read *and* maintain. Intermediate knowledge of linkers and preprocessors are highly recommended.

A CTO's guide to Modern C++

It's a very exciting time for C++ programmers: multiple competitive, capable toolchains to choose from, a re-invigorated standard body, and great IDEs that even die-hard emacs/edlin users are flocking toward. On the flipside, there are practical aspects that are extremely frustrating: what vendor can I pay for support of my toolchain/debugger/IDE? how can I fund open source development to move the needle in areas I care about? what static analysis tools are available that actually work? These questions, and other operational aspects of maintaining a C++ engineering organization, are covered in detail so you can immediately start covering your bases without learning the hard way.

Speaker: Matt Hargett Matt Hargett is Chief Technology Officer at PacerPro, and lives in San Francisco with his husband of 14 years. His first programming was on a TI 99/4a with his mother, and his first reverse engineering was on an 8086 to make shareware games easier to finish. Matt co-authored Pragmatic Unit Testing in C#, and has spoken at conferences around the world on network security, reverse engineering, unit testing, and static analysis. His hobbies include world travel, playing video games, and writing/publishing indie pop songs under the moniker "the making of the making of".

A video interview with Michael Wong

At C++Now this and last year I recorded a short interview with Michael Wong:

A video interview with Michael Wong

The interview as a youtube playlist

by Jens Weller

From the Article:

I've started last year a video interview in Aspen - while at C++Now - with Michael Wong. This year I had the chance to finish the interview and I am now finally able to release it. Michael is a member of the C++ Committee for many years, he leads the Canadian delegation and also speaks for IBM at the C++ committee.

Non-Static Data Member Initializers—741MHz

In case you missed it:

Non-Static Data Member Initializers

by 741MHz

From the article:

...  This problem is addressed in C++11 by allowing non-static data members to be initialized along with a declaration. For example, the following syntax is allowed:

struct foo {
    double x = 1.23;
    int y = 1;
    int z = 2;
};

This also works well with multiple constructors. The class described above could now be simplified and made easier to maintain further down the road: ...

 

Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup: An Interview—Emyr Williams

This month's CVu carries this new interview with Bjarne Stroustrup. (Note: As CVu is subscription-only, the link is to a copy of article hosted at Stroustrup's site.)

Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup: An Interview

by Emyr Williams

From the article:

In 2013, I heard Pete Goodliffe talk about becoming a better programmer, and he lined up panel of experts about how to become a better programmer. Having heard the talk, I endeavoured to put as much of it as I could in to practice. During one of the intervals, I had a chance meeting with Bjarne Stroustrup, who was gracious enough to agree to be interviewed for my blog. I was also encouraged to publish it in the ACCU magazine, so here we are...

CppCon Program Highlights, 7 of N: (More) Boost

The CppCon 2014 conference program has been posted for the upcoming September conference. We've received requests that the program continue to be posted in "bite-sized" posts, a few sessions at a time, to make the 100+ sessions easier to absorb, so here is another set of talks. This series of posts will conclude once the entire conference program has been posted in this way.

 

The Boost.org libraries are central to Modern C++, and so CppCon includes thorough coverage of the "what's new and/or important" in Boost. Several Boost talks have already been mentioned in this blog post series about using Boost in particular domains -- here are additional Boost talks not yet posted here.

Breaking news: We start this post with a talk on Boost.ASIO because if you haven't learned ASIO yet, you'll certainly want to -- as of June 2014 it is (finally) on the fast track for ISO standardization, so a September CppCon talk on ASIO is quite timely.

In this post:

  • Boost.Asio and Boost.Serialization: Designs for Object Transmission
  • Implementing Wire Protocols with Boost Fusion
  • Metaprogramming with Boost.Hana: Unifying Boost.Fusion and Boost.MPL
  • How You Can Make a Boost C++ Library

 

Boost.Asio and Boost.Serialization: Designs for Object Transmission

Network programming in C++ frequently requires programmers to find a way to express C++ objects as a sequence of bytes which can be transmitted and reconstructed on another network endpoint. In the case of simpler objects (such as most PODs), object serialization is trivial to perform.

For more complex C++ constructs (polymorphic objects, etc), the approach to serialization is more challenging. This talk will discuss how two powerful Boost libraries, Asio and Serialization, can be used to craft C++ networking code that can handle a vast array of uses cases. A prototype for a message passing framework will be developed throughout the talk.

Programmers familiar with or interested in network programming (but perhaps unfamiliar with Boost.Asio, Boost.Serialization or both) are the intended audience. No prior knowledge of Boost.Asio and Boost.Serialization will be assumed, and alternatives to both libraries will be discussed.

Speaker: Bryce Adelstein-Lelbach Bryce Adelstein-Lelbach is a researcher at the Center of Computation and Technology (CCT) at Louisiana State University. He works on the HPX runtime system and his research interests include parallel and distributed programming frameworks for scientific applications. He has been working on HPX for over a year now.

 

Implementing Wire Protocols with Boost Fusion

There are a number of common serialization formats available which work well for marshaling C++ types into messaging protocols, e.g. ProtoBufs, Thrift, JSON, XML, FIX, etc. Unfortunately, not every protocol uses one of these popular encodings and instead implements a unique binary protocol. The classical "C" way of handling binary protocols is to use packed structs, unfortunately there are many binary protocols which are not particularly friendly to using this approach due to things like nested variable length data structures, etc.. The packed struct approach is also fairly limited in that it only generally supports primitive POD types.

This talk will explore an approach that uses Boost's Fusion library to implement an easily extensible serialization mechanism for on a non-trivial binary financial exchange protocol which exposes the underlying data in terms of "modern" C++ types. The talk will also cover aspects of general use of Boost Fusion and Boost MPL, type traits, enable_if, SFINAE, and other members of the C++ type system bestiary.

Speaker: Thomas Rodgers, Senior Software Engineer, DRW Trading Group. Thomas has been programming in C++ since 1989 and a member of the C++ Standards Committee since 2013. Thomas has worked in the financial industry since 1996 and currently works for DRW Trading Group in Chicago.

 

Metaprogramming with Boost.Hana: Unifying Boost.Fusion and Boost.MPL

Template metaprogramming sucks. No, seriously; you might like the imposed purely functional paradigm, but not the templates themselves. While C++11 has made our life easier, even simple metaprograms are often hard to write, impossible to maintain and slow to compile; we need better abstractions. In this talk, I will present Boost.Hana (https://github.com/ldionne/hana), an experimental C++14 library for heterogeneous computation. The library takes metaprogramming to a whole new level of expressiveness by unifying the well-known Boost.MPL and Boost.Fusion libraries under a single generic, purely functional interface. The library incorporates some of the most recent advances in C++ metaprogramming; I will give an overview of the most interesting implementation techniques used internally. Finally, I will show concrete ways to use the library so you, as a developer, can write less template black magic, increase your productivity and spend less time in coffee breaks waiting for the compiler (sorry).

Speaker: Louis Dionne Louis is a programming enthusiast and math student living in Quebec City, Canada. He focuses mainly on metaprogramming and functional programming in C++ or other languages. Recently, he has been looking at ways to make C++ metaprogramming more enjoyable by combining C++11/1y techniques with functional programming concepts. In particular, he is working on this very topic as a GSoC student with Boost for the summer of 2014.Website: http://ldionne.com

 

How You Can Make a Boost C++ Library

The purpose of this presentation is to encourage C++ programmers to create and submit new quality C++ libraries to Boost.

Premises: a) C++ needs more quality libraries b) There are many C++ programmers who would like to contribute libraries but they are discouraged by the amount of effort and associated heartache.

Methodology: Walk through the website www.blincubator.com from the point of view of a C++ library contributor. It will address issues related to requirements, suggested tools, user feedback, library promotion. It will assume that the attendee is an intermediate to advanced C++ programmer with his own idea for a library.

Speaker: Robert Ramey Robert Ramey is a freelance Software Developer living in Santa Barbara, California. (See www.rrsd.com.) His long and varied career spans various aspects of software development including business data processing, product, embedded systems, custom software, and C++ library development. Lately, he has been mostly interested in C++ library design and implementation related to Boost. He is the author and maintainer of the Boost Serialization library and a frequent contributor to the Boost developers list. Website: http://www.rrsd.com

 

CppCon Third Keynote—Boris Kolpackov

CppCon has announced its third keynote, filling out the keynote slots for this year’s event. It’s by respected gaming industry veteran Mike Acton on data-oriented design, which is essential for high performance -- or even reasonable performance -- on modern systems from servers to smartphones.

If you're wondering why data-oriented design is so 'essential,' as a backgrounder check out slides 31-37 of Herb Sutter's April 2014 talk and the cited example of a 50x performance difference achieved by doing nothing but changing the order of objects in memory. That's just an appetizer for Acton's keynote, and it's applicable to way more than gaming.

You won't want to miss this or any of this year's other keynotes and over 100 sessions in the 2014 program. From the announcement:

Data-Oriented Design and C++

by Mike Acton

The transformation of data is the only purpose of any program. Common approaches in C++ which are antithetical to this goal will be presented in the context of a performance-critical domain (console game development). Additionally, limitations inherent in any C++ compiler and how that affects the practical use of the language when transforming that data will be demonstrated.

Speaker’s bio: Mike Acton is Engine Director at Insomniac Games. When he’s not searching for new ways to optimize Insomniac’s engine, he dreams up new ways to help the development community. Mike can often be found extolling the virtues of understanding the data and hardware first along with programming for performance.

Inheriting Constructors in C++11—741MHz

Following up on Monday's linked article:

Inheriting Constructors in C++11

by 741MHz

From the article:

Delegating Constructors [... are] extremely useful in boosting efficiency, [but] it does not solve the problem when programmer wants to create a derived class that has exactly the same set of constructor as its base class or classes. In which case programmers are forced to tediously duplicate constructors of the base class...

C++11 solves this problem by introducing constructor inheritance. In a derived class, programmers can write a single using T::T; statement that makes a derived class automatically inherit constructors of a base class. For example: ...