Herb Sutter - The future of Visual C++, Part I

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C++ is the language that most of Microsoft's big-name products are developed in and one of the most widely-used languages in the world.

So, we wanted to meet some of the big minds behind C++. The first is Herb Sutter, architect on the Visual C++ team.

Charles Torre and Scoble interview him in two parts. First part is up today, second tomorrow, which includes a small tour of the team.

In this segment Herb talks about some of the language and compiler changes that are coming in the next version of Visual C++ and where C++ fits into the managed code revolution...  

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      earnshaw
      I rode an old war-horse called assembly language through the bulk of my programming career.  I also dabbled in Fortran, APL, COBOL, even did some Algol and Snobol.  So it's nice to hear something positive said about the value of getting closer to the iron as the trend has been to abstract the iron away.  I get a charge out of C# because it makes doing simple things simple and increases my productivity.  And I don't have to create for the 100th time some variation on a collection class.  I had a conversation last summer with one of my contemporaries during which I remarked that today's Computer Science student may not be getting fully exposed to core concepts like trees, queues, hash tables, dequeues, stacks, spin locks and so forth because these are abstracted away as prewritten classes.  Not that that's bad in general.  It's not.  But it poses a problem for teachers of computer science who must ensure the way these things work under the hood are revealed.  Of course, this piece is about C++ which I used for many years as a systems programming language.  When I first read the C++ for .NET book, I was frankly appalled at how different the language I had grown so familiar with looked.  That's when I learned C#.  I don't denigrate C++ and I am happy to learn problems with using C++ in a managed code environment are being addressed.  For me, though, I use C++ only when C# does not fulfill my needs.
    • User profile image
      Rossj
      My fave vid so far, Herb has *such* a clear and open view on how things should be done, it really is refreshing.  I love the concrete and steel analogy and the comments about what students should learn,  learning new languages is fun - yes even Eiffel.

      Can't wait for the next video ...
    • User profile image
      mwirth
      Thanks Charles and Robert! It's a pleasure to see that you're really keeping your promise.. to have more videos that show the gorey details Smiley I love C++ I must say and the fact that we're back again with C++/cli after this little 'accident' with c++.net v1 .... well, it wasn't that bad.
      I just hope that we get to play with the verifiable STL in beta2 ..... i can't wait.
    • User profile image
      rhm
      He's a lot younger than I was expecting. I've seen his name about the place for so long I'd assumed he was a hairy old guru.
    • User profile image
      The​Programmer
      Oh My God!! It's Herb Sutter here!! I've reading your "Expectional C++" series books for a while, all I can say is, they are brilliant.

      No wonder why Visual C++ kicks so much *, because he is the Architect on the Visual C++ team.

      Great.
    • User profile image
      Sven Groot
      Very interesting. I like what he said about learning programming languages in college. Certainly the fact that Leiden University teaches C++ instead of Java was one of the reasons I went here. We also have a course called "studievaardigheden" which basically covers everything that didn't fit anywhere else, which includes learning stuff like HTML, LaTeX, but also Java, Scheme, Prolog, Perl, stuff like that. And there was a general "Concepts of Programming Languages" course in the second year. So we're well covered in that respect.
    • User profile image
      jales
      Herb Sutter is brilliant as always. My only peeve is with the camera movements, a tripod would be a nice adition Smiley
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      I was using a tripod! Heh. A very heavy Bogen, in fact.

      One thing is that I start shooting as soon as I get in there and sometimes I'm not in the right spot. So, we refactor on the fly.

      It's a little messy. It's not professional. But then, I never claimed to be professional. Smiley
    • User profile image
      Maurits
      I'd really like to be able to search these videos... Any chance of any one of the following happening?

      • Transcripts
      • Closed Captioning so Google can search
      • Adding an entry to download.microsoft.com's robots.txt so Yahoo can pick up the videos and do their video2text thing
      • Moving the enclosures to a less closed domain name than download.microsoft.com so Yahoo can pick up the videos
    • User profile image
      sparky
      IMO, concrete and steel has a lot to do with perception.  Things start to appear as dependable once you have used them enough to accurately predict their behavior.
    • User profile image
      Rossj
      sparky wrote:
      IMO, concrete and steel has a lot to do with perception.  Things start to appear as dependable once you have used them enough to accurately predict their behavior.


      Yes they *appear* that way Smiley 
    • User profile image
      staceyw
      Good vid Smiley  He mentioned a book on locks.  Could you/Herb post a book list (1-5) that he would recommend.  I have some of the classics like "Win32 multithreaded programming" and "Windows Sockets Network Programming", but nothing today seems to address .Net as deep and rich as books like that did with Win32 (in terms of threads and locks).  Cheers!
      --
      William [MVP]
    • User profile image
      JDanielSmith
      Several months ago, I thought that transcripts were being "worked on".

      Has anything happened on that front?  I'd really like to see what Herb Sutter has to say, but it's much more convenient for me to read it than watch a video.
    • User profile image
      JDanielSmith
      rhm wrote:
      He's a lot younger than I was expecting. I've seen his name about the place for so long I'd assumed he was a hairy old guru.


      I think he used to sport a mustache which make him look older.
    • User profile image
      Charles
      JDanielSmith wrote:
      Several months ago, I thought that transcripts were being "worked on".

      Has anything happened on that front?  I'd really like to see what Herb Sutter has to say, but it's much more convenient for me to read it than watch a video.


      I think Transcripts are a very good idea (and have even built them into our content delivery mechanism). We all do on this team. The thing is... They are very expensive. We are a small team and can't do them ourselves.

      We created a wiki for people with time and interest to write transcripts there. That said, I am going to work with management to see if we can afford to have this professionally done... No promises. I'd say, be skeptical that you will see this happen anytime soon. But, there is always hope Wink


      Charles
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Rossj wrote:
      My fave vid so far, Herb has *such* a clear and open view on how things should be done, it really is refreshing.  I love the concrete and steel analogy and the comments about what students should learn,  learning new languages is fun - yes even Eiffel.

      Can't wait for the next video ...


      You'll also see more Herb in March when we release the first episode in a new Channel 9 video series: Think Tankin'.

      Stay tuned...

      Charles
    • User profile image
      Charles
      Beer28 wrote:
      BEST - VIDEO - EVER for this website



      Wow. We did something that Beer likes! Smiley

      See, Beer, Microsoft hasn't given up on C++ and the unmanaged world. VC++ is just getting extended so that it can play in the CLR world too. Further, as Herb says, it's the systems programming language of .NET, so when you need to get close to the CLR metal you can.

      Great stuff.


      Charles

    • User profile image
      Rossj
      Charles wrote:
      so when you need to get close to the CLR metal you can.


      Or indeed the non-CLR metal Smiley
    • User profile image
      Buzza
      Is longhorn (the next version of windows) built primarily in C++ or C#?  And if C# then why not C++ if it is so good ?
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      Longhorn will be built almost entirely in C++ or C with a little assembler and a little C#.
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      From what I understand.
    • User profile image
      Nish
      I couldn't watch the video yet (bandwidth issue), but I must say that Herb seems to be only about half as old as I had imagined him to be. I kinda expected a 50 year old white haired guy who looks like one of those science fiction movie scientists.

      Nish
    • User profile image
      zohar
      Where on earth did he get that shirt.....

    • User profile image
      Wil
      > Further, as Herb says, it's the systems programming language of .NET

      So, is C++ not considered an applications programming language any more, at least not in the managed code universe?  Is C# "the applications programming language of .NET", and so we're expected to use C# whenever we want to, you know, use a computer actually to compute things instead of mucking around with systems?
    • User profile image
      gopd_tw

      What about MFC/ATL/WTL? What's the plan for native framework, can we still develop native code with upcoming VC++ with PROPER/SUFFICIENT native library??

    • User profile image
      SYAORANli

      It is very interesting.I'd like to study C++. So it can give me more information.

    • User profile image
      lucppcoder
      Excellent Job! I couldn't agree more with Herb. There is a great value to be learned from C and C++. I also think it doesn't hurt people to know about assembly. I completely understand the need for rapid application development! It seems everyone is looking to be a "Fisher Price" developer. There are major flaws to not knowing what is occouring at a core level. Does anyone know the future of C++ and WinFX? I have heard that Win32 is going away in time [6].
    • User profile image
      nandhan4u
      im an vc++ devloper please tell any body about ur opinion's on VC++.

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