It’s been oh-so-quiet here! I’ve been away on a long European holiday, visiting Iceland, United Kingdom, France and the Czech Republic. I’ve had a great time, but haven’t had as much time as I’d like otherwise to work on Compiler Explorer.
While in the Czech Republic, visiting the unimaginibly beautiful Prague, I was invited to speak at Avast, the anti-virus company. They have an amazing office and working environment: a music room (and studio), couches everywhere, great food, pinball machines, golf putting courses…you name it! Lovely folks too. In particular, huge thanks to Hana Dusíková for inviting me, and arranging everything and generally making it a pleasure to speak there. She’s now running a regular C++ meet up, which if you’re in Prague you should sign up for straight away!
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m currently on a break between jobs. With my copious spare time I decided – rather late in the day – to head to C++Now, a C++ Conference held yearly in Aspen, Colorado. Several C++ folks had recommended that I come to it: it’s a smaller and more intimate conference than CppCon.
I was not disappointed! Firstly, Aspen is a beautiful place to hold a conference, although the thin air at 9,000 feet up takes a bit of getting used to.
Compiler Explorer now has a logo!
If you like it and want to support Compiler Explorer, I set up an online shop where you can create your own T shirts, bags, mugs and so on! By doing so you’re supporting Compiler Explorer’s development, as I get a small commission for any sales. Of course, it’s all open source, so you can make your own with the logo too!
Almost on a whim, I’ve started re-recording some presentations I’ve done at work on a variety of programming topics, and have uploaded them to YouTube.
I enjoy giving these presentations – you really have to know your topic to be able to effecitvely talk about it in front of people! I plan on recording more, and indeed creating new content just for YouTube.
So far I’ve uploaded:
Until last week I had never been to a C++ conference before. I’m rather glad to say that I’ve now experienced the wonder of having a firehose of C++ knowledge plugged into my brain and turned on.
Most of the best times at the conference were in between talks, where random meetings in the hallways over coffee would yield fascinating discussions. I was flattered to have a fair number of people spot my name badge and come up and thank me for Compiler Explorer – a very surreal experience. I got a tiny taste of what it must be to be “famous”! I also got a lot of advice and ideas on how to improve the site, and once the dust settles a little I look forward to getting stuck into improvements, like more Microsoft compilers (and a better compilation experience for those using it), and execution support.
While the hallway chance encounters (and lunches and dinners) yielded a lot of great conversations, the talks were also full of information. Below is a small taste of some of the talks that left an impression with me:
Today I launched Compiler Explorer on Patreon - a site where one can pledge ongoing donations to content creators.
It was tougher decision than I expected. I spend a fair amount of cash and an awful lot of time on Compiler Explorer, but I’ve always seen it as a hobby. This now puts me a little closer to seeing it as a “job” of sorts. I hope this works out!
If you enjoy using Compiler Explorer and want to help out, please visit the new page on Patreon.
Today I updated Compiler Explorer to support better sharing, specifically to allow embedding a Compiler Explorer view into another site, useful for blog posts that wish to demonstrate how compilers generate code, or how language constructs actually become assembly.
For example, maybe you want to show off how well the compiler optimizes multiplying by a constant:
I’ve been running Compiler Explorer for over four years now, and a lot has changed in that time. In addition to C++, it now supports Go, Rust and D. It scales up and down to support demand. It has many different compilers, many self-built.
I’ve been asked by a couple of people recently how everything works, and so I thought I’d put some notes down here, in case it should help anyone else considering something similar.
In brief: Compiler Explorer runs on some Amazon EC2 instances, behind a load-balancer. DNS routes to the load balancer, which then picks one of the instances to actually send the request to. In fairness, most of the time I only have one instance running, but during rolling updates (and high load) I can have two or so.