January 16, 2013 — Metadata and reflection in C++ — Jeff Tucker

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Time and Location

January 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Microsoft Campus.
Note: Cafeteria, not our normal meeting room

Come at 6:45 for pizza sponsored by Randstad Technologies.


A robust reflection/metadata system in C++ can be extremely powerful and has many applications, particularly in game programming. It can facilitate sophisticated debug output and logging, trivial factory implementation, automatic serialization and deserialization for any arbitrary object, automatic binding to a GUI system, and even automatic binding of objects and functions to a scripting language (both Lua and Python are popular). The typeinfo/RTTI system currently in C++ however is simply not up to this level of functionality, so a more sophisticated solution is necessary. In this talk, I will implement a simple, yet powerful, meta reflection system in C++, completely from scratch, and using test-driven development. I will also show how I leverage a similar system in my own game engine. Finally, I promise there will be no more than three PowerPoint slides.


Jeff Tucker is a lecturer of Computer Science at DigiPen Institute of Technology, where he teaches classes on networking, databases, programming, and software engineering. He has been a software engineer for the past 13 years and formerly worked at Microsoft on the Windows Core Networking team. He also currently does research in procedural content generation and graphics algorithms as well as making computer games.


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