Higher-order functions and function_ref

Day 2 /  / Track 3  /  EN / For practicing engineers

Most modern languages treat functions as first-class citizens, and Modern C++ is no different. The introduction of lambda expressions and utilities such as std::function enable countless functional programming patterns that can increase the flexibility and safety of APIs, and help reduce code repetition on the implementation side.

In this talk we're going to see examples of how higher-order functions can be used in practice to increase the quality of production code and the productivity of developers, focusing on pragmatic use cases that can be integrated in an existing codebase instead of fully functional patterns.

A new abstraction proposed to the Standard Library for C++20, function_ref, will also be covered and compared to other techniques for the implementation of higher-order functions.

function_ref is a lightweight wrapper over any Callable with a given signature that is easy for the compiler to optimize and inline. This presentation will go over the specification and implementation of function_ref, covering potential future extensions and possible pitfalls.