Thursday, May 17, 2001

THE C++ Seminar

If you're in a hurry, this is all you need to know:

THE C++ Seminar: 3 Days with 5 Experts
Scott Meyers, Herb Sutter, Dan Saks, Steve Dewhurst, Andrei Alexandrescu
September 17-19 in Portland, Oregon

What follows is more information about this remarkable event.

* * * * *

Wouldn't it be fun, I thought, to get together with some of the best C++
authors, consultants, and lecturers, and have a party? I'm talking about
the people I turn to myself when I have questions about C++ software
development. People who are undisputed experts. People who are
undisputably articulate. People who are undisputably fun. People who I
almost never get to see, because we're all traveling all the time, and even
when we show up at the same event, we're almost always scheduled to speak
opposite one another. Wouldn't it be fun to get them together in the same
room for a few days to talk about anything and everything related to C++?
To have a chance to learn from one another? To have a chance to heckle one
another and challenge one another? I thought it would be HUGE fun.

So I approached Herb Sutter, Dan Saks, Steve Dewhurst, and Andrei
Alexandrescu, and I asked them if they'd like to do it. I was pleased when
they said they would. I was even more pleased when we managed to find
three days this fall when all of us were available. Thus was born what we
call "THE C++ Seminar: 3 Days with 5 Experts." It's a party with an
unmatched technical program. And you're invited to participate.

The five of us each know more about C++ than is probably healthy, but
individually we also have unique strengths. Herb, for example, knows all
about distributed computing, distributed databases, and other things
distributed and concurrent, because that's been his application area for
years. Dan's foundation in C and C++ standards is unparalleled, and his
knowledge of the embedded market is, well, let's just say there's a reason
he's a columnist for Embedded Systems Programming magazine. Steve used to
work with Bjarne on C++ compilers. Yes, that Bjarne. You want to know
what's going on inside a compiler? We can all guess, but Steve's guesses
are likely to be especially good, because he's had to implement compilers.
Andrei has *forgotten* more about C++ templates than the rest of us are
ever likely to know. And me? It was my idea, so they had to let me

We're still fine tuning the details of this event, but we know this for
- Unlike the conferences and trade shows where we sometimes speak, each
of us will be at this seminar all the time, so you can easily track us
down to talk to us about whatever you want to. Saw something in one of
our books that confused you? Make us clarify it. Disagreed with
something we said in a presentation:? Make us defend it. Want to know
why we're not doing Java? Ask us.
- The seminar topics aren't limited to C++ per se. Related technologies
are on the table, too. Threading, patterns, embedded and distributed
systems, dynamic linking, template-based generic and generative
programming, they're all fair game. This isn't so much a seminar on
C++ as much as a seminar on using C++ to get your jobs done. We all
claim to be consultants. Demand some useful consultations.
- The material here will be intermediate, advanced, or better. There
won't be any superficial introductory talks.
- We hope to do some joint presentations, because many of us have strong
feelings about some topics, and those feelings aren't always in
agreement. For example, I know that some of the other speakers are
more enthusiastic about exceptions than I am. In some cases, our
interests in a single topic approach it in quite different ways.
For example, Herb, Andrei, and I have all written about the standard
string type, but our takes on it have been dramatically different.
Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky, and a fight will break out.
- The seminar won't be hands-on, but you're welcome to bring a laptop and
throw our sample code against your compilers. You're also welcome to
bring problematic code and ask us to look at it. Just remember that
we're not under NDAs, and we might ask for permission to show some of
your code in a seminar presentation.

Registration for THE C++ Seminar will open soon. You can join the seminar
mailing list to be notified about registration and seminar details at least
one week before the general public. Space for this event is limited (really
-- the hotel has physical limits), and those who are on the seminar mailing
list will be the first to be informed when registration begins.

You can join the seminar mailing list via the box on the seminar web page
(, or by sending mail to

I know this seminar is going to be great fun. I'm already thinking of
questions to spring on Herb, Dan, Steve, and Andrei. I encourage you to
think of your own questions, then join us in Portland September 17-19.
It's a party. It's an event. It's THE C++ Seminar.

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