Contracts for C++

Timur Doumler

⏱ 90 minute session
16:00-17:30, Wednesday, 17th April 2024
Design by Contract is a very effective approach for writing safer, more correct programs. It has been successfully implemented in programming languages like Eiffel and Ada. Attempts to add a Contracts facility to C++ have a long and storied history spanning two decades. Since the last attempt to standardise Contracts (for the C++20 Standard) has failed, SG21 — the Contracts Study Group on the C++ Standard Committee – has been working on a new design, the so-called Contracts MVP, which is now essentially feature-complete and on track to make it into the upcoming C++26 Standard.

In this talk, we present the current design of the Contracts MVP targeting C++26. We discuss preconditions, postconditions, assertions, contract-violation handling and much more. We consider how the Contracts MVP provides a superior replacement for custom assertion macros and, when used correctly, can significantly improve the safety and correctness of your code.

🏷 C++ C++26 Contracts

Timur Doumler

Timur Doumler is the co-host of CppCast and an active member of the ISO C++ standard committee, where he is currently co-chair of SG21, the Contracts study group. Timur started his journey into C++ in computational astrophysics, where he was working on cosmological simulations. He then moved into the audio and music technology industry, where he has been working for over a decade and co-founded the music tech startup Cradle. In the past, Timur also worked for JetBrains, first as a developer on CLion's C++ parser and later as a Developer Advocate for C++ developer tools. Currently, Timur lives in Finland, where he organises the monthly C++ Helsinki meetup and works as an independent C++ consultant. Timur is passionate about clean code, good tools, low latency, and the evolution of the C++ language.