CppCon Program Highlights, 11 of N: C++11/14 Design

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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.


Now that we have Modern C++ in the form of C++11 and C++14, how does this change the guidance for authoring types and techniques for using them in popular patterns? In this set of talks, world-class speakers and trainers address these issues.

In this post:

  • The Canonical Class
  • The Implementation of Value Types
  • Accept No Visitors


The Canonical Class

It was a simpler time. A period in which every college student and learn-C++-in-a-weekend duffer could write a class with the assuredness that it would behave as desired when assigned and copied. There was a check list. Complete the checklist, add some domain specific behaviour, bake in the regression oven, and you were done.

Enter C++11 with its fancy new use of the delete keyword, additional applications of explicit, rvalue references, and some perfect forwarding. How are you to write a "simple" class? Should you include a swap? What does movable mean and are there expected semantics? When is the noexcept specifier used?

During this session we will explore the boilerplate of a C++11 class. The session will touch on rvalue references, move semantics, perfect forwarding, explicit, noexcept, initializer lists, and more as it applies to producing the desired semantics for our classes and structs.

Speaker: Michael Caisse, Ciere Consulting. Michael Caisse has been crafting code in C++ for nearly 25-years. He is the owner of Ciere Consulting which provides software consulting and contracting services, C++ training, and Project Recovery for failing multidisciplinary engineering projects. :: ciere.com


The Implementation of Value Types

Predefined value types are central to C++ efficiency and robustness. More importantly, C++ provides mechanisms that enable programmers to create high-quality value types, programmers are not limited to the small predefined value types. However, implementing a high-quality type requires attention to several problems, among them portability, representation, efficient copying, efficient parameters, aliasing, constant initialization, and constant expressions. We present the issues and several approaches to implementing high-quality value types.

Speaker: Lawrence Crowl. Dr. Lawrence Crowl has expertise in programming languages, compilers, and parallel programming. He has been mixing threads with C++ for twenty-five years and is a major contributor to C++11. His goal is to achieve both high quality and high performance programs.


Accept No Visitors

Visitor Design Pattern was an attempt to overcome a limitation of object-oriented languages -- inability to retroactively introduce new polymorphic functions. While it was quite efficient in providing extensibility of functions, it was never truly retroactive, easy to teach, use or maintain, and it achieved this at the cost of hindering extensibility of classes, introduction of control inversion and requiring tons of boilerplate code to be written. Visitor Design Pattern is a workaround, not a solution to the problem and in this talk I would like to discuss a more elegant yet as efficient solution in the form of a Match statement. We will look at several use-cases for the Visitor Design Pattern, their encoding using both approaches and ultimately their advantages and disadvantages.

Speaker: Yuriy Solodkyy. Yuriy Solodkyy received his PhD from Texas A&M University, while working under the supervision of Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup on the ways to simplify the analysis of C++ programs. He is currently trying to materialize some of those ideas while working in the Visual C++ team at Microsoft. His research interests include C++, generic programming, and abstract interpretation. More information about Yuriy can be found at his university page at https://parasol.tamu.edu/~yuriys/. Website: https://parasol.tamu.edu/~yuriys/

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