# D News May ’22: D 2.100.0; GDC & LDC Releases; DConf ’22 Schedule Published & Early-Bird Registration Ends

May was a busy month in D land. Early on, a major milestone release of GDC, the GCC-based D compiler, hit the virtual shelves. It was followed in middle of the month by the release of D 2.100.0 along with a DMD release, the reference D compiler, of the same version. That was immediately follwed by a beta release of the LLVM-based D compiler, LDC, version 1.30.0. Finally, the latter half of the month saw the publication of the DConf ’22 schedule, we found a sponsor for the DConf tradition of BeerConf, and May 31st marks the final day of DConf ’22 early-bird registration.

A video version of this blog post is available on the D Language Foundation YouTube channel.

## D 2.100.0

This latest release of DMD comes to us courtesy of 41 contributors who brought us 22 major changes and 179 fixed Bugzilla issues. Although the community attached a bit of significance to the 2.100.0 version number, there isn’t anything overly exciting in the changelog. This is largely a house-cleaning release—a number of deprecation periods that should have already ended have been terminated— but there are a couple of interesting additions to the language.

One of these is the deprecation of D1-style operator overloads. Originally, these were designed to make their purpose clear. Want to overload the addition operator? Then implement opAdd. What to overload the multiplication operator? Then implement opMul. Walter took this approach with operator overloading because of one of the major complaints about the feature in C++: people often overload an operator to do something different from what it is expected to do. An example: overloading the + operator to append rather than perform addition. Walter’s reasoning was that if the intent of the operator is included in the name of the function, then anyone overloading it to do something different is essentially violating its contract. Perhaps it would encourage people to stick to the intent.

No one can say for sure if Walter’s approach worked like he hoped, but a more generic design was implemented in D2, and this is the approach all D code must use today. The D1 operators were kept around largely to ease porting D1 code to D2, with the intention that they would one day be deprecated. It finally happened in D 2.088.0, which was released in the fall of 2019. Following the deprecation process, the deprecation period should have ended with 2.098.0 (the first release after 10 non-patch releases including the deprecation).

### delete

The delete keyword was another D1 feature that was ultimately axed in D2. It was deprecated in D 2.079.0, which was released in the spring of 2018. This was something that had long been planned (see the deprecation page for the rationale), and its use had been discouraged for some time.

Ndelete would both destroy an object instance (call its destructors) and release the memory allocated for it by the GC. Now, we use the destroy function from the object module which is imported by default in all D programs. This will call the destructor on an instance and optionally reset the instance to its default .init state. The GC will then free the memory allocated for the instance when necessary, or the programmer can do it manually via GC.free static member function in core.memory.

### @mustuse

Paul Backus took DIP 1038 through the review process from beginning to end. Initially, it introduced an @nodiscard attribute for functions and types. During the Formal Assessment after the review rounds were completed, Walter and Átila were willing to approve it with changes. The final version renamed the attribute to @mustUse and restricted its application to structs and unions.

The feature was implemented in D 2.100.0 as @mustuse, and is now available to use in your D code. When a type marked with the attribute is the result of an expression, the result cannot be ignored.

### .tupleof for static arrays

Many D programmers are familiar with the .tupleof property of structs, which is particularly useful when interfacing with C libraries:

struct Circle {
float x, y;
ubyte r, g, b, a;
}

@nogc nothrow
extern(C) void draw_circle (
float cx, float cy, float radius,
ubyte r, ubyte g, ubyte b, ubyte a
);

void foo() {
Circle c = makeCircle();
draw_circle(c.tupleof);
}

Now we can do the same thing with static arrays:

void foo(int, int, int) { /* ... */ }

int[3] ia = [1, 2, 3];
foo(ia.tupleof); // same as foo(1, 2, 3);

float[3] fa;
//fa = ia; // error
fa.tupleof = ia.tupleof;
assert(fa == [1F, 2F, 3F]);

## DConf ’22

DConf ’22 is happening in London, August 1 4. If you haven’t registered yet and you’re reading this on or before May 31st, then register now to take advantage of the 15% early-bird discount. The schedule is online and BeerConf is a go!

### DConf ’22 schedule

We love to see and hear first-time speakers at DConf, whether it’s their first conference talk ever or their first DConf talk. This year, we have 11 first-time DConf speakers, 12 if you include our invited keynote speaker Roberto Ierusalimschy (the head designer of the Lua programming language). This is awesome!

The DConf ’22 schedule is set up as follows:

• three keynotes: two from the language maintainers, one from our guest speaker
• two panels: the traditional DConf Ask Us Anything involving the language maintainers, and a panel on Programming Language Design
• a Lightning Talks session
• 15 presentations (11 of which are from first-time DConf speakers)

We’re limiting the talks to 45 minutes this year so that we’ll have more time to mingle between sessions. One of the talks on Day 3 is slated for 25–30 minutes, so we’ve slotted it such that we have a longer lunch that day.

The schedule (excluding the keynotes, as the details of those haven’t yet been provided) has a loose theme. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do:

• Day One is mostly status reports and tutorials
• Day Two is largely intermediate to advanced and heavy on the tech
• Day Three is about the D ecosystem

All of the talks will be livestreamed and recorded, so they’ll be available on our YouTube channel at some point after the conference has ended. Still, DConf is about more than just the talks, as Razvan Nitu and Dennis Korpel noted in an interview. It’s about getting to know in person the people we encounter online in our regular D community interactions. As Razvan said and I can attest, your perspective will surely change after you can match the internet handles with living, breathing, human beings with whom you’ve interacted in person.

### Early-bird registration ends

May 31st is the last day of early-bird registration. With the 15% discount and 20% VAT, the total is $423.30 USD. We also show the GBP equivalent on the site, based on the HMRC exchange rate for the current month, and accept payments in GBP through PayPal. On June 1st, the general registration rate of$498.00 USD (including 20% VAT) kicks in.

If you are a student, there’s a flat rate of $120.00 USD (including 20% VAT). Email social@dlang.org to take advantge of it. We also offer a flat rate of$240.00 USD (including 20% VAT) for major open source contributors. The keyword here is major. It’s not something for which we can set specific criteria, and we don’t really want to provide examples that may discourage inquiries. If you would like to see if you qualify for this discount, please email social@dlang.org, and we’ll let you know.

Finally, we also offer a hardship rate. If you would like to attend DConf but can’t afford the registration, just email social@dlang.org and we’ll see about helping you out. We can’t help you with transportation, just the registration.

### BeerConf

BeerConf is a DConf tradition going back to the very beginning, though we didn’t call it that back then. Every year, we would designate an “official” hotel somewhere in the vicinity of the venue. This would be our gathering spot in the evenings, usually in the hotel lobby or bar. Typically, would people break off into groups for dinner, then several of them would wander over to the gathering spot to hang out and chat, usually over beers. At DConf 2017, Ethan Watson branded this gathering BeerConf and the name has stuck.

At DConf 2019 in London, we couldn’t find a suitable hotel to select as the site of BeerConf. Instead, we hired out the upper floor of a pub close to the venue, thanks to the sponsorship of Mercedes Benz Research and Development North America. For DConf ’22, we’re back in the same general area, and so we again have to hire out a pub.

The 2019 pub was a bit crowded for us, and is a bit too far of a walk from our ’22 venue, so we’ve got our eyes on another pub within walking distance of the venue and near some of the budget hotels listed at dconf.org. What we’ve been missing is funding.

That has changed, thanks to Funkwerk! With their sponsorship, we’re able to cover the minimum spend the pub asks for the each of the evenings of August 1 3. This means that DConf attendees dropping by this pub on those nights can order food and drinks (alcoholic and or otherwise) for free until the DConf tab runs out. We’ll have a separate tab for each night so that we don’t blow it all in one go.

Unfortunately, I can’t announce the specifics about the pub just yet. Our DConf host, Symmetry Investments, is handling the arrangements for us since they’re in London and we aren’t. Once I receive confirmation that the deal is set, I’ll announce all of the details in the forums, here on the blog, and at dconf.org. So keep your ears open!

Thanks again to Funkwerk for helping us out.

## Next time

The next big news roundup will come in late August or early September, but I’ll keep the blog updated with announcements before DConf as they come. If you are planning to attend DConf, then I’m looking forward to seeing you in London. And if you aren’t, then change your plans!

# D News Roundup

Version 2.097.0 of DMD, the D programming language reference compiler, was released on June 5th in the middle of new GDC and LDC release announcements, while preparations for two major D community events were underway: the Symmetry Autumn of Code 2021 and DConf Online 2021. We’ll cover it all in this post, with a focus first on the events.

## Symmetry Autumn of Code 2021

As I write, Symmetry Investments employs in the neighborhood of 180 full-time workers and manages over US$8 billion of capital, and they’re always on the lookout for more employees, including programmers to work with D and other languages. They sponsored DConf 2019 in London and have sponsored the annual Symmetry Autumn of Code since 2018, in which a handful of programmers are paid to work for four months on projects of benefit to the D ecosystem. This year marks the fourth annual SAoC, and we are now accepting applications. Participants will plan four milestones for projects that benefit the D ecosystem and will be expected to work at least 20 hours per week on each milestone. Each participant will be rewarded US$1000 for the successful completion of each of the first three milestones. At the end of the final milestone, the SAoC committee will review the overall progress of each of the remaining participants. One will be rewarded with a final $US1000 payment and a free pass to the next real-world DConf, with reimbursement for travel and lodging. In last year’s event, a second participant was also awarded a fourth US$1000 payment.

Participation in SAoC has led to jobs for some lucky coders and has generally been a valuable learning experience for those who have completed it. Students currently enrolled in graduate or postgraduate university programs will be given priority, but applications are open to all. The application deadline is August 18th. Project ideas can be found in the D community’s projects repository at GitHub. See the Symmetry Autumn of Code page here at the D Blog for all the details on how to apply as a participant or as a mentor.

## DConf Online 2021

For the second consecutive year, we were unable to hold a real-world DConf. Last year we launched the first annual DConf Online. And when I say annual, I mean annual! We’re doing it again this year and will continue to do it going forward even after the real-world DConfs are back on.

DConf Online 2021 will take place November 20 and 21 on the D Language Foundation’s YouTube channel. Once again, we’re looking for pre-recorded talks, livestream panels, and livecoding sessions. If you’d like to propose something in one of those categories, the application deadline is September 5. Please visit the DConf Online 2021 homepage for all the details.

And if you haven’t seen them yet, the DConf Online 2020 and DConf Online 2020 Q & A playlists are available on the same channel. You can also find a full list of talks and all the links (talk videos, slides, and Q & A videos) on the DConf Online 2020 homepage.

## New compiler releases

D 2.097.0 is live in the latest release of DMD and the beta release of LDC, the LLVM-based D compiler. The new version of GDC also came into the world as part of GCC 11.1 at the end of April.

### DMD 2.097.0

This version of DMD comes with 29 major changes and 144(!) fixed Bugzilla issues courtesy of 54 contributors. Changes include a few deprecations and several improvements to the standard library. Two things stand out:

• while(auto n = expression) has been on a few wishlists for a while. Now it’s a reality. The same syntax that was already possible with if statements is considered idiomatic in certain circumstances (such as when checking if an item exists in an associative array). Expect the while condition assignment to start popping up in open-source D projects soon.
• std.sumtype is another wishlist item that is a wish no more. The new SumType is a replacement for std.variant.Algebraic. It’s a discriminated union that makes good use of Design by Introspection with a nice match syntax for those looking for that sort of thing. It’s been quite a while since the last time a new module was added to the D standard library. Many thanks to Paul Backus for putting in the effort to see it through, and a very big Congratulations!

### LDC 1.27.0-beta1

On the same day the new DMD was released, the first beta of LDC 1.27.0, which also supports D 2.097.0, was announced in the D forums.

On top of 2.097.0 support, this version of LDC provides greatly improved DLL support on Windows. The prebuilt Windows packages ship with DRuntime and Phobos DLLs. This is big news for D developers on Windows. We’ve long had issues with D DLLs that have prevented heavy use outside of simple interfaces (with APIs exported as extern(C)` being the most reliable).

There are some limitations to be aware of, such as the inability to directly access TLS variables across DLL boundaries (though it’s fine with accessor functions). Please see the release page for the details.

Thanks to Martin Kinkelin and all the LDC maintainers and contributors for their continued work on LDC. They aren’t getting paid for this. If you are a happy LDC user or just like the idea of the project, you can support their work by sponsoring Martin Kinkelin on GitHub.

### GDC 11.1

In the GCC world, Iain Buclaw continues to make strides on the GDC compiler.

GDC 11.1 still uses the old C++ version of the D frontend, which feature-wise is mostly (see below) at D 2.076.1. There were significant issues in upstream DMD that prevented Iain from making the switch to the D version of the frontend in time to make the release window. He is currently aiming to make the switch in time for GDC 12. As a consolation, this release has support for three BSDs, Mac OS X, and MinGW!

Despite the older frontend, Iain has backported several fixes and optimizations, and even a few features, so it isn’t your grandfather’s D 2.076.1 that GDC supports. For example, the new bottom type that recently made its way through the D Improvement Proposal review process has found its way into this GDC release. See the forum announcement for details of all the new D goodness in GDC 11.1 and Please consider sponsoring his work on GitHub.

## One-off donations

If you aren’t up for sponsoring Martin or Iain but would still like to support them financially, you can make one-time donations through the D Language Foundation. You can send money to the D General Fund, the D Open Collective, or to our PayPal account. Whichever method you choose, please be sure to leave a note that the donation is intended for LDC, GDC, or any D project you would like to support. We’ll make sure the appropriate person receives the money.

Other options for supporting the D programming language: visit the D Language Foundation donation page and donate to one of our funds, head to the DLang Swag Emporium and purchase any items that catch your eye (the D Rocket stuff rocks, and DConf Online 2021 swag will be available shortly), or consider using smile.amazon.com and selecting the D Language Foundation as your charity the next time you shop at Amazon.com (we are only available through the .com domain; browser extensions like SmartAmazonSmile for Firefox and AmazonSmileRedirect for Chrome make it easy to do).

Thanks to everyone who has, will, or continues to support the D programming language, either through donations of time or money. We’ve gotten where we are through community effort, and community effort will keep pushing us forward. D rocks!