Pure Virtual C++ 2024 Sessions Announced
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 19 April 2024

Microsoft has announced the sessions for Pure Virtual C++ 2024, which is taking place on April 30th 15:00 UTC. People who sign up will get access to five sessions happening on the day, alongside a range of pre-conference content. 

The sessions cover areas including automated testing, the use of Boolean algebra for message handling, embedding a language for debug information, the use of Copilot Chat, and a report on how Microsoft is incorporating C++20 header units in Microsoft Word code.

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The first session on automated testing is being given by Keith Stockdale of Rare, creators of the game 'Sea of Thieves' among other popular titles. This project has hundreds of thousands of automated tests that are used to validate behavior as the game is updated, including tests that validate and verify shader code. The Virtual C++ session looks at a new test framework that Rare has developed for this, and goes into detail on the C++ and HLSL implementation of the shader testing framework to discuss the design goals of the system.

The second session, given by Ben Deane of Intel, argues that going back to basics and making full use of Boolean algebra in the design of a message handling library is 'unreasonably effective'. Deane will discuss composing predicates on messages and manipulating them at compile time in order to do the least work when dispatching them at runtime. 

Sy Brand of Microsoft is giving a talk on embedded a programming language in debug information. Dwarf information on Linux provides debuggers with a bridge between high-level source code and the machine instructions generated by the compiler, and can be used to locate variables within your program at runtime using a language called Dwarf Expressions. Brand decided to try implementing a programming language inside this, and the session looks at how debug information and executables are stored on Linux systems and how he managed to use them to implement a programming language interpreter that runs when you ask your debugger for the address of a variable.

The use of Copilot Chat in C++ development is the topic of the next talk, given by Microsoft's Sinem Akinci, who looks at the use of the AI-powered pair programmer integrated into Visual Studio and VS Code. Akinci will introduce Copilot and Copilot Chat, share tips for achieving the results you want, and provide different use cases for using these tools. The talk includes demonstrations of the tools in action in C++ code in Visual Studio while tackling a variety of problems from navigating and understanding code to refactoring existing code.

The final session looks at the progress that has been made in adopting header units in Microsoft Word. Zachary Henkel of Microsoft is part of the team working on the Word element of Microsoft Office. Overall, Office consists of nearly 100 million lines of C++ code. C++20 header units provide a way to gain the benefits of modules while still working with a codebase originally designed for classic header inclusion. Microsoft announced at CppCon 2022 that the Office developers investigate header units with the goal of improved build throughput, and this session present the results of that work so far, including sharing build performance metrics for the first time.

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More Information

Pure Virtual C++ 2024 Webpage

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