Talk: What Do We Mean When We Say Nothing At All?


They say silence can speak volumes. In a C++ application there are many places where not using a keyword or a piece of punctuation is a deliberate decision that carries a lot of information. Consider not marking a member function const, or virtual, or consider not indicating that a parameter is passed by reference. While in some cases this may be an oversight, a reliance on defaults that might or might not be appropriate, in others it’s a deliberate decision based on careful thought and design. How is a reader to know which is the case?

In this talk I will show some of the many places where nothingness carries meaning, and talk about approaches to increase the information others can get from your nothingness.