GoingNative 17: Meet James McNellis, Register for GoingNative 2013

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In this episode, Ale and Charles swap roles: Ale takes a camera into a dev's office and geeks out. Charles appears in the ctor and dtor segments with a singular message: register now for GoingNative 2013. You want to be there, in person. It's beautiful in Seattle in September and when's the last time you got a chance to hang out with Bjarne Stroustrup, Andrei Alexandrescu, Scott Meyers, Herb Sutter, Stephan T. Lavavej, Chandler Carruth, Michael Wong, Sean Parent, Jim Radigan?

James McNellis is a software developer on the Visual C++ libraries team. He's also a very active contributor on StackOverflow's C++ Q&A forum. James has done some nifty work recently with C++ templates to solve some interesting problems. Tune in to meet James and learn more about the great things he does. We hope to spend more time with James in the future.



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Way cool! James is in the house! Smiley Sounds like you folks are going to have a blast at Going Native 2013 with that stellar line up. I'll have to make do with the session videos when they're uploaded. It would be way cool if you could find some time to live tweet during the proceedings. What about some adhoc video interviews with attendees outside of the actual sessions?

  • User profile image

    @tomkirbygreen: Not a bad idea. I'll see if Laura could do some man-on-the-street style interviews at the venue, ask folks what they build with C++, what they do, etc...

    Indeed, it's too bad you can't make the event, Tom.


  • User profile image

    You must respect people privacy. Not everyone enjoys being interviewed or appearing on video.

  • User profile image

    @SomeoneWhoRegisteredForGN: Great point. As a basic rule, we always ask before any filming takes place, anywhere. Don't worry. We're not a tabloid with paparazzi on staff...

  • User profile image

    @Charles, Where's the riddle to win a free ride to GoingNative 2013? Tongue Out   I really enjoyed the conference last year (very well organized) as well as the informal chats with you and the speakers. I'll have to see if my company will chip in to get me there this year.

    Thanks again!

  • User profile image
    @Matt_Smith: They should. 299 for three full days? That's quite a bargain, no? Plus, we secured special pricing at the Bellevue Westin. Join us in Redmond!! C
  • User profile image
    At the 2:59 mark, James mentions that MFC/ATL are "legacy." While I'm not surprised at this given the focus MS has placed on trying to get people to migrate to Windows Runtime, I'd like to know what this means for the future of MFC/ATL. Are there plans for a GoingNative with Pat Brenner again or others on the MFC team? There are lots of code bases developed with MFC and without any new enhancements or fixes, what does that bode for "legacy" desktop apps? Interesting interview nonetheless. If you can place C++11/14 code in the CRT, could sections of MFC/ATL also be enhanced to take advantage of C++11/14?
  • User profile image

    James McNellis is a cool guy, since he works on perf sensitive stuff maybe he could do STL like videos about do/dont when writing perf code. I love C++ but I dislike when ppl expect their program to run fast just because they wrote it in C++. :)

  • User profile image

    @HomerSimpian:  My team is responsible for a number of libraries, including the CRT, our C++ Standard Library implementation, ATL, and MFC.  Of these libraries, most of our active development effort has been work on the CRT and C++ Standard Libraries.  For the most part, we're only fixing bugs in MFC and ATL.  When I referred to MFC and ATL as "legacy" libraries, I mostly just meant that we're not actively doing major work on those libraries right now.

    So, why are we focusing right now on the CRT and C++ Standard Library and not on ATL and MFC?  The main reason for this is that there are many open questions about what is the future of traditional desktop app development in C++.  Certainly, we intend to continue supporting existing code, but there are questions about the future.

    But, regardless what the future holds, the CRT and C++ Standard Library are both essential, so investing in them is a sure win.  For the C++ Standard Library, performance and portability are two of the biggest reasons that people choose C++, so a top-notch C++ Standard Library implementation is essential.  The CRT is the foundation on which most user code in Windows is built, so improvements to the CRT have broad impact (and here, it's not just native code--the CLR sits atop the CRT, for example).

    While we (and many other teams here at Microsoft) work to figure out what the future of desktop app development should look like, our team is working to ensure that these foundation libraries are terrific--to make development on Windows more pleasant for you and our customers, and to make maintenance easier, freeing my team to work on even more awesome libraries that sit atop these foundational libraries.

    @Ivan:  I'll consider it.  I'm currently working on a series of blog posts, describing some of the techniques we've used when modernizing the ancient, legacy CRT code base.  Articles will start showing up on the Visual C++ Team Blog soon (for some definition of the word "soon").  I'll be touching on a variety of topics, from CRT-specific things like the SEH/RAII interop technique described in this interview, to more general techniques for legacy code improvement.  Perhaps we can turn some of this content into Channel 9 talks.  We'll see.

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