CppCon 2016: Deploying C++ modules to 100s of millions of lines of code—Manuel Klimek

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While we wait for this year’s event, we’re featuring videos of some of the 100+ talks from CppCon 2016 for you to enjoy. Here is today’s feature:

Deploying C++ modules to 100s of millions of lines of code

by Manuel Klimek

(watch on YouTube) (watch on Channel 9)

Summary of the talk:

Compile times are a pain point for C++ programmers all over the world. Google is no exception.. We have a single unified codebase with hundreds of millions of lines of C++ code, all of it built from source. As the size of the codebase and the depth of interrelated interfaces exposed through textually included headers grew, the scaling of compiles became a critical issue.

Years ago we started working to build technology in the Clang compiler that could help scale builds more effectively than textual inclusion. This is the core of C++ Modules: moving away from the model of textual inclusion. We also started preparing our codebase to migrate to this technology en masse, and through a highly automated process. It's been a long time and a tremendous effort, but we'd like to share where we are as well as what comes next.

In this talk, we will outline the core C++ Modules technology in Clang. This is just raw technology at this stage, not an integrated part of the C++ programming language. That part is being worked on by a large group of people in the ISO C++ standards committee. But we want to share how Google is using this raw technology internally to make today's C++ compiles faster, what it took to get there, and how you too can take advantage of these features. We will cover everything from the details of migrating a codebase of this size to use a novel compilation model to the ramifications for both local and distributed build systems. We hope to give insight into the kinds of benefits that technology like C++ Modules can bring to a large scale C++ development environment.

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