Tomorrow: The First Annual D Language Conference

This week Amazon is hosting the first annual D Programming Language Conference here in Seattle. Looks like the conference will have just over 50 people attending. There’s a single track of speakers, so I hope to attend most/all the sessions, and blog some notes and thoughts here.

There is so much rich thinking going on with dynamic languages like Ruby, etc. This can be a much more expressive, productive way to program, compared to the more verbose and brittle static-typed language world. And with the web at the forefront, they have attracted a great community that is pushing the envelope in many areas.

But with Ruby, I often I feel like I’m building a house on shifting sands. And there is much that C/C++ can do to improve. Where Ruby is flexible and concise, but loose and slow — C/C++ is fast and strong but verbose and brittle. [That seeming contradiction of being both strong and brittle is a truth, but one that's sometimes not immediately obvious]

D is a tight, elegant evolution of C/C++ that retains the strength, but attacks the verbosity and brittleness from several angles, especially with its metaprogramming features. It is C++ completely rethought, simplified, and done right.

As a device driver developer, the language has features that I often wished I had (like static ifs, better templatized functions, and compile-time code execution). And they are syntactically elegant, unlike C++.

The first talk of the morning starts it off right, given by Walter Bright, D’s designer and mind behind the Zortech C++ compiler and others; and Andre Alexandrescu, the C++ guru and author of the brilliant, dense Modern C++ Design: Generic Programming and Design Patterns Applied, among many other things. D already has the signs of attracting its own great community. These are two minds to follow, and I’m looking forward to this talk and others.

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