Readable Modern C++

Timur Doumler

Timur Doumler is currently senior software engineer at London-based music technology company ROLI. There, he works on JUCE, a popular open-source cross-platform C++ framework for developing audio, interactive, embedded and graphic applications. Timur also works on C++ standardisation and likes giving talks at conferences. He is the program chair and co-organiser of the Audio Developer Conference (ADC), the annual gathering of the audio software community.

C++ offers great performance and many powerful features like the standard library, a rich type system, and compile-time programming. However, it often ends up being hard to read. High-level languages like C++ are usually not written to communicate with compilers. They’re usually written to communicate with people. In fact, many developers spend more time reading and understanding other people's code than writing their own.

This talk focuses on how to optimise C++ code for being easily readable by average human developers, ideally being close to plain English. I will revisit best practices on naming, comments, and locality from a modern C++ perspective. Readability also means writing less code and avoiding repetitions and unnecessary noise. I will present practical use cases of modern C++ features that are especially effective to achieve this. I will finish the talk with an overview of new C++17 features aiming at more readable code, such as fold expressions, constexpr-if, and structured bindings.

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