Which Machine Am I Coding To?

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When writing a C++ program, we tend to think of the strengths and weaknesses of our computer, just as we think of our algorithms, data structures, and probably of language features we want to use (or we want to avoid), and we code accordingly. To some, it might be surprising to learn that C++ is actually specified in terms of an abstract machine, with its own characteristics. If this is indeed a surprise for you, then you might be interested in knowing more about this machine. It's been there for a long time, and it influences the way we program as well as the way the language was, and is. The aim of this talk is to provide a practical overview of what the C++ abstract machine is, how it affects the way we program and how it affects language design itself. It will probably most interesting to intermediate audiences who would like a closer look to some of the abstract underpinnings of the language.



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