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ACCU 2012 Report

Thursday, 03 May 2012

I'm now back home again from ACCU 2012. As ever, it was an exhausting, but thoroughly enjoyable conference. With 5 tracks it was sometimes very hard to choose which session to attend.

There were a surprising number of talks on C, though mostly just to confirm that C is a dying language, a "zombie language" as Uncle Bob put it, even if there is still a niche or two where it is the best fit.

There was also a fair number of sessions on testing, especially TDD (even TDD in C), and a few sessions on other agile practices.

However, the big topic of the conference was C++11. Nicolai Josuttis ran a full day pre-conference tutorial on the C++11 library, and then there were sessions on the best and worst features of the C++11 library, C++11 for everybody, C++11 for the rest of us, C++11 allocators, writing generic code with C++11, the C++11 concurrency facilities, an interactive C++11 programming session, and even a C++11 pub quiz (with free beer!)

The other big topic was concurrency and parallelism, with 6 presentations, including two by me. Actors and Dataflow seemed to be a common theme — it looks like these ideas are finally filtering into the mainstream now that everyone and his dog has a multicore computer in their pocket. Not only did Russel, Jason and I reference them in our presentations, but several of the developers I spoke to had implemented their own actor or dataflow libraries, or were interested in using one.

My presentations

My own presentations went well. My first one (on Dataflow, Actors and High Level Structures in Concurrent Applications, on Thursday afternoon) was packed out. There were quite a few interesting questions from the audience, and someone told me it was the best presentation at the conference, which was really nice to hear. Several people asked about slides and the code samples, and I promised to make them available. The slides are here and the code samples here

My second presentation was the C++11 concurrency tutorial on Saturday morning. I was presenting in the first slot after the keynotes, and the speakers dinner was the night before, so a lot of people had been looking rather the worse for wear in the beginning. However, the room was almost full again, and the audience seemed to be awake — yet again there were many interesting questions that showed people were paying attention. The slides for are here and the code samples here

My book

My book was only published a couple of months before the conference, so it was exciting to see so many people clutching copies. Apparently the Blackwell's stall sold out, which was nice for me, but unfortunate for those that didn't manage to get a copy. If you wanted a copy then you can buy it direct from Manning, or from amazon.com, or amazon.co.uk.

Posted by Anthony Williams
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I wish C was a dying language. At least, half of me does. The other half, which is being paid to write it, is happy the language is still around. In my view, C is not worth investing in and it is hard to see why iso even bothered with C11. But, there is so much of it out there and the fear of C++ is so strong that I suspect C will be a huge force in computer programming for at least two more decades.

I would never start a new project in C, but does that make it a zombie? COBOL's death has been talked about for a lot longer and it is still going strong.

by Alexander J Turner at 15:00:33 on Monday, 21 January 2019

Would love to see the talks. Was there no video recording done?

by saurabh at 15:00:33 on Monday, 21 January 2019

I did enjoy your talk at ACCU 2012 a lot, thank you!

What I love about these things is that it always inspires me to go code, and your talk inspired me to write my own active objects library for C++.

It's on Google Code (http://code.google.com/p/cppao), and I hope you are able to take a look.

Let me know how you get on, Calum

by Calum Grant at 15:00:33 on Monday, 21 January 2019

Nice post, and a great website.

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