C++Now 2015 Trip Report: HPX is in the Air

This year’s C++Now was a great experience and an exciting time for HPX! After a bumpy travel to Aspen for most of the attendees, the conference started with a great keynote by Andrew Sutton on C++ Concepts (lite) on Tuesday last week. The 3 attendees from the STE||AR Group were still busy preparing their talks: “Back to the Future” (for Wednesday) and “Parallelizing the STL” (for Friday). So the day went by with other interesting talks and discussions.

Wednesday started with an interesting keynote by Tiago Quintino on large scale weather simulations conducted by the European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) giving insight on what and why this organization uses C++ for its large scale data processing back-ends. He advocated HPX as a possible solution which was very encouraging for us (slides to the talk: NWP – Facing the Future with C++). This was a great start and introduction for the rest of the day with our first talk about HPX: Back to the Future presented by Agustín Bergé and Thomas Heller. They presented implementation details of HPX’s C++ futures and an overview on the various different facilities possible and implemented beyond standard C++.

Thursday was filled with a number of other very excellent talks. The keynote on Ranges by Eric Niebler was outstanding and gave insight on how the future of the C++ Standard Library might look like.

Friday, the last day of the conference with presentations was filled with HPX-ready material. It started with Grant Mercer’s talk on Parallelizing the STL which showed how he used HPX to implement large parts of the new Parallelism TS. The next talk was given by Sean Parent (Adobe): Better Code: Concurrency. This talk was discussing concepts very close to the underlying principles of HPX and demonstrated possible uses of C++ futures as well as a different design of a possible future implementation very well aligned with our ideas of dataflow. This talk won the “Best Tutorial” award. The next presentation was given by Gor Nishanov (Microsoft) who described how future C++ will interface with asynchronous code based on coroutines, laying out possible ways of how libraries like HPX will be able to transparently take immediate advantage of compiler generated code (slides here: C++17 coroutines for app and library developers).

Between all of the talks there was quite a buzz over HPX.  The community really seems to have begun to pay attention to the great work that the STE||AR Group has been doing over the past couple of years. Overall we had a great time in Aspen and where able to discuss our ideas with the best of the best in the C++ Community!

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