Sorry We're Late

Due to some circumstances beyond our control, but also some problems at our end, we failed to meet the posted deadlines of 2018-01-12 for notification, and 2018-01-19 for publishing the schedule.

We have slipped everything by a week from today and should have everything sorted and published by 2018-01-29, but hopefully sooner.


First Decisions Made

So the ACCU 2018 call for session proposals ended 2017-11-17T23:59+00:00 exactly as anticipated. The committee then went through all the proposals and scored them and, if appropriate, added a comment or two. Also a number of irritants and glitches with the system were noted and added as issues to the source repository[1].

The committee met, some physically, some via video call, a couple of people had to send their apologies for absence, in Reading Saturday 2017-12-02 to review the situation, and make decisions. Some of the decisions were very hard to make since we had many more excellent session proposals than we have space for in the conference schedule.

It is now necessary to transfer the decisions made into data in the database, make all the consistency and correctness checks, and then we can begin the process of informing people of the results, and doing the sub-editing on scheduled proposals so the session data can be published. Despite the improvements made to the system compared to last year, this remains a non-trivial activity. The question is whether things are ready to send out notifications of acceptance before the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hogmanay, New Year holiday period. Just at the moment it is not possible to tell.

1. If anyone who used the system and had irritants or spotted glitches with it, or indeed has suggestions for improvements, please feel free to add issues so we can make the system better for next year.

Registration is Open

Archer Yates Associates, who are the people who collaborate with ACCU to put on ACCU conferences, have opened up registration for ACCU 2018. Thus are people able to get tickets for ACCU 2018 as Winter Solstice / Christmas / whatever-your-end-of-calendar-year-holiday-is-labelled presents for themselves and/or others.

True, the schedule is yet to be decided, but we do know Gen Ashley, Hadi Hariri, Seb Rose, and Lisa Lippincott will be presenting keynotes. We also know there will be full day pre-conference tutorials, and lots of great sessions. And social stuff.

Buy now, enjoy later. Register here.

The 2018 Keynotes

We are very pleased to be able to announce that the keynote speakers for ACCU 2018 will be: Gen Ashley, Hadi Hariri, Seb Rose, and Lisa Lippincott. We’re collecting titles, blurbs, and bios and will have a webpage with the details very soon now.

Move the Conference Dinner?

A number of people at ACCU 2017 suggested that it would have been much better to have had the Conference Dinner on the Thursday and the Bloomberg Party on the Friday, instead of the other way around. The ACCU Conference Committee couldn’t see any reason why not try doing this as an experiment. However, we have no idea how many people prefer the way it is as we had no feedback that it was right the way it was. We are currently organising with the new format, unless enough people think it is a bad idea. You know who to email if you have a view.

What's ACCU About

The previous post was to let people know about the mechanics of session proposals and their submission. It did not though set out the scope of ACCU conference content – hence this post.

ACCU the organisation ( is a membership organisation of software developers, software engineers, programmers, coders, choose your preferred label for someone that creates software. The members are interested in programming, programming languages, testing, the tools of developing software, the process of developing software, and all related things. The tag line for the organisation is Professionalism in Programming. ACCU produces two journals, CVu and Overload, published every other month.

ACCU the conference is put on by ACCU the organisation, but is open to anyone who wishes to attend, not just members of the organisation. Obviously ACCU the organisation hopes that anyone not a member that attends ACCU the conference joins ACCU the organisation – and there is a stand at the conference for people to do exactly that.

So for content, ACCU the conference is looking for any material that is interesting to people who create software. Historically, ACCU has a lot of C++ and C content, and is proud of that: ACCU is the foremost annual conference for people interested in C++ and C, at least in and around the UK. But it is not just a C++ and C conference, ACCU is about programming in whatever language people are using, with whatever tools and processes people are using: D, Chapel, Java, Kotlin, C#, F#, Groovy, Rust, Go, Python, Ruby, Lisp, to name just a few programming languages about which there have been sessions at ACCU conferences.

The call for session proposals opens tomorrow, if you have an idea for a session do submit it. If you want to chat an idea over with someone before submitting, please email the conference chair

Proposals for ACCU 2018

Tomorrow (2017-10-16) at, most likely, some time around 09:01+01:00 the call for proposals for ACCU 2018 sessions will open. The call will close at 2017-11-17T23:59+00:00.

The conference comprises:

  • 90 minute sessions, either:

    • 60 minute presentation with 30 minutes questions and answers[1].

    • a workshop[2].

  • 180 minute workshops[3].

  • 20 minute sessions, 15 minute presentation and 5 minutes questions and answers.

There are also lightning talk sessions, but, as ever, these are organised at the conference: this call is for proposals for just the scheduled sessions. This call is though also for the:

  • full day (6 hour with breaks) pre-conference workshops

Although not part of the conference per se, they are separate pay-for things, we manage them as part of the overall event.

There is a "lead presenter deal" for lead presenters of 90 (and 180) minute sessions. This comprises a free conference ticket, two nights accommodation at the conference hotel, remuneration of travel expenses if needed, and a free ticket to the conference dinner. Sadly it is not possible to provide a "presenter deal" for the 20 minute presentations. Lead presenters of the full-day pre-conference workshops get a free conference ticket, two nights accommodation at the conference hotel, reimbursement of travel expenses if needed, and an honorarium.

We anticipate getting submissions from all the usual suspects, and that is good: an ACCU without the usual suspects would be suspect.

However we really want to see lots of sessions from people not in the set of usual suspects as well. If any "not a usual suspect", or indeed any "usual suspect", wants to discuss an idea before making a proposal please email the conference chair

1. Some people choose to structure this as 90 minutes of interactive presentation instead of 60 minutes presentation and 30 minutes Q&A, and that is fine – the point is to have interaction and dialogue. A 90 minutes one-way presentation without interaction is not really what we want.
2. A workshop is all about people doing things.
3. For the situation when 90 minutes is just too short for the activity.

Trying Out The New Submission Application

The ACCU 2108 call for session proposals isn’t actually open, but it seems wise to try the software out to try and make it usable, unlike last year. Things are still very much under development, this is alpha or perhaps beta software at this stage in the general scheme of things.

If you fancy doing a source trial feel free to follow the instructions below. If you just want to try things out, I have set up as though it were a live call for session proposals. Any comments, criticisms, bug reports, etc. please file issues on GitHub

The source for this Web application is at please clone the repository in the usual Git/GitHub-ish way. You will need to ensure you have SQLite3 and Python3 installed, and then ensure you have the Python packages in pip_runtime_requirements.txt installed. I do:

pip3 install --user --upgrade -r pip_runtime_requirements.txt

If you want to run the tests (and who doesn’t :-) you will also need the packages in pip_test_requirements.txt.

Running the Python tests:

pytest tests_cfp
pytest tests_cfp__selenium

The tests should be green. Running the JavaScript tests requires NPM with Mocha. If you have those installed then:

npm test

should also be green.

To actually run the application, you have to first create a database:

./ db_init

to create accuconf.db. Then:


should set the server going. Navigating to localhost:8000 with a browser should get you to the page. The default state should be "closed" so nothing interesting happens. To change the state close the server, and create the file with the line:

from models.configuration import CallForProposalsOpen as Config

and then start the server.

For any comments, criticisms, bug reports, etc. please file issues on GitHub Pull requests with constructive changes will be most welcome.

Herb's Keynote

When we first asked Herb Sutter to come back to ACCU and do a keynote, he agreed, but wasn’t sure which of many things he would talk about. We ran with a meta-title and some meta-blurb so as to allow for any possibility. A week before he was due to be on stage, Herb emailed us with the title and blurb for his keynote, which by now had been scheduled as the closing event for ACCU 2017. We quickly changed the meta-title and meta-blurb to the real title Thoughts on Metaclasses and associated blurb, which still seemed a bit meta, but quite classy. He also made what seemed at the time a strange request. He was happy for the session to be videoed, but wanted an embargo on publishing for a while.

Anyone who was at the session will, I suspect, agree that is was one of the most exciting session on C++ in ACCU history – the energy of the audience during the session was palpable. This was borne out by the questions going on for a good 80 minutes after the presentation.

Despite lots of requests for immediate publication of the video of this by now world famous ACCU session, the organisers stood firm on their commitment to the embargo. Herb wanted to make a presentation to the full C++ committee before the ACCU video was published; it was important for the ACCU organisers to fulfil their commitment to Herb. The embargo was lifted 2017-07-26 with Herb publishing his blog post about all this. The ACCU video of the session was release a few minutes after the blog post was published and is here. For once in the history of the Internet, the comments are actually worth reading.

The ACCU conference has a You Tube channel Notice the header image is a photo of the opening of Herb’s session.

We look forward to getting Herb, and also Bjarne Stroustrup and Andrew Sutton, back to ACCU, to bring more new C++ things to us. All keynotes are unique, many are very special (as Herb’s ACCU 2017 one was), none are reproducible – nor should we try to reproduce per se. The challenge for the committee and organisers is try and get another keynote that creates the same audience energy. This is an aim, not a meta-aim.

And So Begins The Process To ACCU 2018

The observant may have noticed something of a change in the ACCU conference website. We have decided that #363e6d (aka Dark Midnight Blue) will be the colour for ACCU 2018. The rationale for this will not be revealed now (so as to engender a feeling of suspense) and may, or may not, be revealed sometime in the next 8 months[1].

The website has been rearranged to create a clean slate for ACCU 2018, with ACCU 2017 joining ACCU 2016 in the "Previous ACCU" drop down menu. I expect various changes to happen to the website over the next few months. The source is still a Git repository on GitHub. Investigators of this repository will notice that it is now just the source of the static website generated using Nikola. The Web application for submission and review is being rewritten and is now separated completed from the main website – avoiding many of the problems people had last year. The new "submission Web application" has it’s own repository here. Work has only just started on this Python3/Flask/SQLAlchemy/SQLite-implemented system, but should progress very rapidly. If you want to get involved, please feel free to chip in using the issues, and think about possible pull requests.

Although the conference dates are now fixed (Workshop day 2018-04-10, Conference days 2018-04-11/P4D), the dates of the call for proposals, etc. are just proposals. Unlikely to change, but they may.

If you know anyone who wants to sponsor the conference, get them to contact The Conference Chair in the first instance.

1. With apologies to the late (, very late) Douglas Adams for the allusion to the style of writing in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.