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An Interview with Bjarne Stroustrup about Concepts and C++'s Future

By  Aug 7, 2009

Topics: Programming, C/C++

A lot has been said and written about the C++ standards committee decision to remove concepts from C++0x. I was among the first to report it on Informit and on other sites but recently several other independent accounts have been posted. "What happened in Frankfurt" by Douglas Gregor is one of the best reports about this issue because Gregor downplay or hide the disagreements and technical problems that arose prior to the decision to remove concepts.  

My views about concepts are clear and well-known -- I find them too complex, gratuitous, and dangerous.  Then again, different people have completely different views about concepts. What I believe has been sorely missing is a proper dialog between the opponents of concepts and its supporters (not just within the confines of the WG21).

Earlier this week, I interviewed Bjarne Stroustrup about the whole affair. Stroustrup is the designer of the concepts proposal (along with other committee members) and one of concepts' fervent supporters. In this interview Stroustrup gives excellent, detailed answers to the hard, almost heretic, questions I'm asking, including: is it time to replace the ISO standards committee with a different standardization model? Does the committee need more checks and balances to avoid another concepts-like embarrassment? Is C++ at a dead end? Why do wee need concepts at all and were they overstated?

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