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ACCU (previously known as Association of C and C++ Users) is a non-profit, worldwide user group of people interested in software development, dedicated to raising the standard of programming. Originally, the association was primarily for C programmers, but it has expanded over time to include all programming languages, especially C++, C#, Java, Perl and Python.
ACCU was formed in 1987 by Martin Houston. The original name of the organisation was C Users' Group (UK) and this remains the formal name of the organisation today, although it adopted the public name Association of C and C++ Users for the period 1993-2006, and adopted the shorter form ACCU from 2006 onwards. The ACCU is operated by a volunteer committee, elected at an Annual General Meeting which usually takes place during the annual ACCU conference each Spring in or near Oxford.
As the formal name suggests, the organisation was originally created for people in the United Kingdom. However, the membership is now worldwide, predominantly European and North American, but also with members from central and southern America, Australasia, Africa and Asia.
The ACCU currently publishes two journals.
- C Vu is a members-only journal which acts as the association's news letter and carries book reviews, articles on software development and a number of regular columns such as Student Code Critique and Professionalism in Programming.
- Overload aims to carry more in-depth articles aimed at professional software developers. Topics range from programming and design through to process and management. Overload is available online to members and non-members free of charge.
Other journals have been published by ACCU in the past. Accent was the news letter of the Silicon Valley Chapter and CAUGers was the news letter of the Acorn special interest group. Overload was originally the journal of ACCU's C++ special interest group, but is no longer language-specific.
The ACCU conference is held annually in or near Oxford. It often attracts well-known figures within the computing community as speakers; including David Abrahams, Andrei Alexandrescu, Ross Anderson, James Coplien, Tom Gilb, Kevlin Henney, Andrew Koenig, Simon Peyton-Jones, Eric S Raymond, Guido van Rossum, Greg Stein, Bjarne Stroustrup (the designer and original implementor of C++), Herb Sutter and Daveed Vandevoorde, amongst others.
ACCU actively supports the standardisation process for computer programming languages. ACCU has provided financial sponsorship of meetings in the UK for both the ISO C working group and the ISO C++ working groups. Additionally, ACCU has helped finance travel of UK experts to ECMA meetings in mainland Europe.
A number of ACCU members are also members of their national standards organization' groups that send delegates to the ISO working group meetings. Several members of the United Kingdom's national body's sub-committees, the IST5 committee of the British Standards Institution, are also ACCU members. The working groups are developing the next versions of various programming language standards, specifically for C and C++.