general remarks about the meetings
First, a caveat emptor: the Hilton Garden Inn in Issaquah, Washington lacks a proper restaurant. Instead, they have a bar that has limited menus for breakfast and supper…no lunch at all. Also, they don’t send out laundry or dry cleaning, so I’ll be a mess on my trip home (not dirty or smelly, but definitely unpressed).
The plenary session where we took care of administrivia only lasted until the morning break.
For the rest of the day, I hung out in the Library Evolution Working Group (LEWG) where we dealt with eleven papers. Four answered national body comments, one fixed a bug (for which there was no NB comment), and one answered a comment from the Core (language) Working Group (CWG). That completed our high priority business, so the other five papers were suggestions for new standard library features. We’ll be talking mostly about new features for the rest of the week since that’s what LEWG is about anyway.
This old dude was happy to catch up on his sleep and write the blog post I linked to above. I’m pretty sure that nobody on the committee missed me. 😎
The hotel doesn’t have all the meeting rooms that we need, so some groups have evening sessions. I attended an evening session of the Numerics Study Group where we considered three papers, one suggesting additional statistics functions, one about an extension to the random number business, and one claiming that more math functions could be declared constexpr (“constant expression”). There was a fourth paper that dealt with deprecating and replacing the fsetround and fgetround functions in the floating point environment that C++ inherits from C. We got through the rationale for deprecating the functions, but we ran out of time before we could talk about what to replace them with. We’ll have another evening session on Thursday when, if we have the time, we might also talk about my paper. (The floating point stuff is very much more important.)
LEWG spent the whole day talking about SIMD stuff (“single instruction, multiple data”).
The committee can publish three kinds of documents, an international standard (IS), a technical specification (TS) which is a kind of warning about possible future standardization (“Hey, vendors and users, try this out and let us know if we made any mistakes.”), and a technical report (TR) which is basically “Here’s something we thought you might find interesting.”
We have a TS that defines a class called simd that provides a mechanism for doing parallel processing of vectorizable data on multicore machines, which is a Really Big Deal for the numerics folks. As expected, “mistakes were made;” and fixing them has lots of subtle ramifications. This took lots of discussion among numerics experts, most of which went over my head. (One of the reasons that I participate in the committee is that I can learn lots of stuff just by keeping my mouth shut and my ears open. I hope I never stop learning.)
Given that so many of you traveled to be at the meeting, it’s a shame the planners didn’t pick a hotel that had amenities. Laundry being a big one!
They have washing machines in case you have washable items that get badly soiled; but there’s no thought given to cleaning and pressing things that get dry cleaned. (Yes, this old fart still has one navy blue pinstriped suit that he wears when traveling.)