Meetings and Teleconferences
The C++ committee holds three full week-long face-to-face/hybrid meetings a year, which will resume post-pandemic in November 2022.
In between full face-to-face meetings, we also hold many telecon subgroup meetings to focus on particular technical areas or particular parts of the Standard. These have been the main mode of working during the pandemic, and there are typically about 30 such topic-specific virtual meetings in a given month.
How to participate at meetings and teleconferences (including guests!)
We welcome anyone who wants to attend a meeting of WG 21 or a subgroup as a guest; this lets you participate and argue and do most everything, except only you can't actually participate in the "plenary session" change approval polls (the full-WG 21 polls that take place three times a year, in a "virtual plenary" or on the Saturday of a face-to-face/hybrid meeting).
However, if you plan to attend any WG 21 or subgroup meeting (including telecon) as a guest, we need to have notice that you're coming so that we can notify ISO about our guest list (and for physical meetings be sure there are enough seats and refreshments, name tags, etc.). So if you plan to attend a WG 21 or subgroup meeting, send us an email telling us you will be a guest to let us know you’re coming. You are welcome and we look forward to seeing you! (Note: ISO strongly encourages at least one week's notice please.)
To continue participating after your first meeting as a guest, you have two main options:
- Normally you would join the national body (NB) for the country where you live. This makes you a full WG 21 member, including to vote in plenary approval polls. If you are interested in joining your national body but aren't sure whom to contact to get started, send email to the active national body chairs here.
- You can participate as a "long-term guest" via the Standard C++ Foundation's program that makes it possible for anyone to participate as a Foundation alternate representative at no cost. This lets you participate the same way as a guest, including to participate fully in subgroups but not vote in plenary approval polls. If you have already attended a meeting as a guest and are interested in becoming a Foundation alternate to participate at additional meetings, send email here.
Full-week meetings, in-person/hybrid
At our three-times-a-year meetings, typical attendance ranges from 100 to 240 people. One meeting a year is traditionally held outside the continental United States -- often in Europe, but periodically in Canada or Hawaii, or occasionally in the Caribbean, Japan, or Australia.
These are six-day meetings (Mon-Sat), and begin and end with everyone in the same room for a plenary session: On Monday morning, we meet together to organize work for the week, and at the end of the week we meet to consider change recommendations ready to be brought before the whole committee for approval polls. The rest of the time is spent in smaller subgroups where most of the technical discussions occur.
Having the ISO WG meeting co-located with one of its member body's (U.S.'s) committee meetings means a couple of administrative twists to accommodate having two committees in the same room, which also operate at different levels and follow different internal procedural rules:
- Agenda and chair: Our tradition has been that the WG21 convener has the U.S. committee chair publish the combined agenda and administratively chair the face-to-face meeting. (The convener does not have to be the meeting chair.)
- Consensus on changes: For every proposed change brought forward to full committee at the end of the week, it is the responsibility of the WG21 convener to determine whether there is consensus to adopt the change. First, to determine whether there is general agreement, the convener normally takes a poll of the individual national body-appointed experts in the room, not including observers who are not experts officially representing a national body; unanimity is not required. Then he also checks whether any national bodies have strong objections that need further attention before the change is adopted; again unanimity is not required, but we try to avoid proceeding with a change if there are sustained objections from several nations.
WG21 also holds administrative teleconferences to organize work before each face-to-face meeting, usually on the Friday that is 10 days before the start of the face-to-face meeting.
Email lists (a.k.a. "reflectors")
Committee members conduct discussion on internal email lists (aka "reflectors"). If you have attended a meeting (in-person, hybrid, or on-line) you can access these lists.
Additionally, for a Study Group email list, the SG chair may also at their own discretion add any new expert who wants to participate. In particular, SGs are especially designed to be open and inclusive to experts in their field.
How to Participate Via Email
If you are an expert in one of the Study Group topic areas (listed on the Committee overview page and Standing Document SD-3) and want to participate specifically in that SG's email list discussion, please contact that SG's chair directly.
The committee is making many of the topic-focused Study Group email lists publicly readable and searchable for the benefit of those who are interested in following the committee's discussion and work, since the Study Groups will normally be the point of first entry where new experts begin participating in our program of work.