Val and Mutable Value Semantics

Posted on Friday, Jan 20, 2023
Dimi Racordon joins Timur and Phil. They first have a couple more conference speaker calls, a new C++20 test framework, and and some updates about Safety in C++ and the C++ successor languages announced last year. Then they talk to Dimi Racordon about the new language, Val, how it relates to C++, and why mutable value semantics are so powerful.

Guests

Dimi Racordon

Dimi Racordon

Dimi is a researcher at Northeastern University, in the US.

She might a bit of an outsider in the C++ community. She’s never been a real software developer. She doesn’t have clients or a product owner to satisfy so she can get away only writing proof of concepts. She has a Ph.D. in computer science, but only because she bribed her jury members with Swiss chocolate from her hometown. She worked on model checking and developed efficient data structures to generate and explore large state spaces. She then studied logics and type systems while trying to find new ways to teach computer science.

Since as long as she can remember, Dimi has always loved coding. She realized she’s not so good at writing correct programs, though, so she thought she’d better write clever compilers to do it for her. Eventually, she developed a true passion for language design with a particular focus on type-based approaches to memory safety and program optimization. Now she works on answering research questions related to these topics and writes formal proofs for a living (but has yet to prove someone else reads them).

Dimi likes generic programming, because it looks like math, and low-level programming languages, because she loves wasting time on premature optimization. Since she’s not good enough to write C++ and thinks she’s too cool for Rust, she decided to focus her research on another programming language that fits in the middle. She says she’s “discovering” a core calculus to build a “safe by default” and “fast by definition” language that could one day interoperate with C++.

Hosts

Timur Doumler

Timur Doumler

Timur Doumler is the Developer Advocate for C++ tools at JetBrains and an active member of the ISO C++ standard committee. As a developer, he worked many years in the audio and music technology industry and co-founded the music tech startup Cradle. Timur is passionate about building inclusive communities, clean code, good tools, low latency, and the evolution of the C++ language.

Phil Nash

Phil Nash

Phil is the original author of Catch2, a regular speaker at conferences, trainer, organizer of C++ on Sea and the C++ London meet-up, and Developer Advocate at SonarSource.


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