What is compile-time metaprogramming?


Compile-time metaprogramming involves allowing certain programming features to run at the time of code compilation rather than during execution. This approach can grant significant power, enabling Python-style expressive APIs and the use of overloaded operators. Chris Lattner explains how languages like C++ use templates for metaprogramming, although initially, these were not designed to be as powerful as they became. This form of metaprogramming separates template metaprogramming distinctly from runtime programming, providing different syntaxes and concepts. Lattner discusses the challenges and complexity of weaving these features effectively into a programming language through a new compiler design, emphasizing the potential for languages like Mojo to facilitate programming tasks both at compile-time and runtime uniformly 1.

Compile-time Metaprogramming

Chris discusses the advantages of compile-time metaprogramming and how it can be implemented in languages like Python and C++. He also talks about the challenges of implementing it and how Mojo is using a new approach to unify the programming language model with the runtime model.

Lex Fridman Podcast

Chris Lattner: Future of Programming and AI | Lex Fridman Podcast #381