Re: A Brief Look at C++0x
Posted: Jan 4, 2006 1:48 PM
> Your article is not asking for
> our feedback, but simply telling us what the committee has
The committee has been soliciting feedback for several years, now, for the next version of standard, and have got lots of feedback and contributions. However, at the Lillehammer meeting last spring, it was decided that in order to be able to publish the standard in 2009 (ISO standards are updated/confirmed in about 10 year intervals, and the current standard is from 1998, with a 2003 revision/correction), a cutoff-date for new proposals was set half a year into the future, to last year's fall meeting, and I think this has been mentioned in articles, etc. about the development of C++. This is because the committee already have more on its plate than can reasonably be implemented (given there's only two meetings per year), but it was also said that new proposals could still be submitted after that time - there just weren't any guarantee that the committee would get a chance to consider it.
> The only point I do want to bring up is that it is very
> hard for people with little or no formal academic
> background and little funds or resources (e.g. myself) to
> make contributions or suggestions for the direction to the
> language. Other languages welcome or encourage community
> feedback and participation, whereas C++ seems to have an
> ivory tower approach to the language design.
C++ is an ISO standard, and as such, there are procedures regarding how, and how often, it may be changed. Independent language developers (like yourself) are not that "constrained" by issues like this (or the concerns of millions of existing users, and ditto lines of existing code).
However, if you or anyone else have any suggestion for ways to improve community interaction, or other ways to improve the development of the language, I'm sure it would be most welcome. Just remember that it typically takes someone to do it, as well...
> I understand language design isn't easy, but I think more
> transparency, and community involvment is warranted,
> especially early on with proposal and such, and is crucial
> for C++ to continue to be a relevant programming language
> over the long term.
Yes, this is all good and fine, but how? The proposals are all publicly available at the standards site. If someone would like to get directly involved in the standards work, they can contact their ISO "national body" (the organization in their country affiliated with ISO), and request membership. Unfortunately, in many countries, this costs a yearly fee, that goes to paying ISO. You then get access to the mailing lists of the committee, and so on. Then there's the newsgroups that have been mentioned.