Reflection in C++ – Past, Pres…

Reflection in C++ – Past, Present, and Hopeful Future – Andrei Alexandrescu – CppCon 2022

Aspect Oriented Programming. Metaobject protocols. Intentional programming. AspectC++. OpenC++. C++ metaclasses. Reflection and related technologies already has a long history in the theory and practice of several programming languages, including C++. However, the lofty promises of the 1990s (user-defined language semantics, infinite configurability, ultimate code reuse) failed to materialize in mainstream success.

Within the standard C++ realm, a reflection proposal has had a long and meandering road that is finally converging. Will it be successful? Why is this time different? And most importantly, what’s in it for the community – what compelling applications are at the horizon to justify the addition to an already large language core?

This talk explores these questions and several related others. Although you won’t take home code and insights that you can put to work tomorrow, you will acquire something that is less urgent but arguably more important: a vision of a better way of writing programs. Think generic programming without the pain, high-leverage generic code, seamless integration with foreign languages, and much more.

Andrei Alexandrescu

Andrei Alexandrescu is a Principal Research Scientist at NVIDIA. He wrote three best-selling books on programming (Modern C++ Design, C++ Coding Standards, and The D…


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