Carbon’s Successor Strategy: From C++ interop to memory safety
The Carbon Language is an experimental successor to C++ motivated by a desire to effectively and scalably bring significant language improvements like memory safety to existing large-scale C++ code bases. Other efforts to evolve C++ like Cpp2 and Circle are structured more as a superset language, where Carbon is following a distinct successor language design. This talk will dive into the tradeoffs we see between these approaches and what motivates Carbon to take a different approach despite its challenges.
One of the largest challenges of our successor approach is C++ interoperability, and Carbon is embedding the Clang C++ compiler directly into its toolchain to get the superpowers it needs to address this. While still in its early stages, this talk will give a detailed preview of what we expect C++ interop to look like in Carbon and how we plan to solve key implementation issues. It will cover complex cases like C++ templates and C++20 concepts, as well as showing how we plan to make the interop truly bidirectional.
Last but not least, this talk will show how we expect our successor strategy to play out in practice. Memory safety is an especially motivating feature, requiring fundamental changes to how software is written to achieve safety without performance loss. This talk will show the path Carbon will provide to enable existing C++ code bases incrementally and scalably achieve safety and security.
Chandler Carruth is the technical lead for Google’s programming languages and software foundations. He has worked extensively on the C++ programming language and the Clang and LLVM compiler infrastructure. Previously, he worked on several pieces of Google’s distributed build system and made guest appearances helping maintain a few core C++ libraries across Google’s codebase. He received his M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from Wake Forest University, but disavows all knowledge of the contents of his Master’s thesis. When not hammering away on a weirdly shaped keyboard, he enjoys sushi, fine dining, brown spirits, and everything about wine.
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