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.