This year’s first international C++ Standards Committee meeting took place from 15 to 20 April in Bristol, England. Over 100 C++ experts from all over the world traveled to Bristol to discuss the 160 papers submitted and determine new C++ standards. Four representatives from think-cell attended the event acting on behalf of the German interests of the programming languages task force of the German Institute for Standardization (DIN). Since it began funding the task force, think-cell regularly attends the meetings of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
One of the key outcomes of the event was that experts succeeded in adopting the Committee Draft (CD) for the C++14 standard, which is set to be released next year as a bug fix release for C++11. Key features include generic lambdas, dynamic arrays, and optionals.
Generic lambdas reduce the gap that exists between lambda expressions and generic programming. Soon, it will be possible to declare lambda expression parameters as ‘auto.’ This way, it is possible to call up the same lambda functor with different types of arguments.
Dynamic arrays deliver a secure alternative to the VLAs known from C. This feature allows dynamic data structures to be placed on the stack, increasing the efficiency of many programs.
Optional is an efficient, easy-to-use data structure on hand for optionally available data. The standardization of this commonly-used construct gives programmers a more secure and expressive vocabulary.
In addition to the Committee Draft, numerous C++ bugs were fixed and many details were improved. The C++ Standards Committee used the ‘technical specification’ instrument created by the ISO in order to outsource more complex features. This way, C++14 can be released on schedule. Both users and implementers can test features from the TS before they are standardized in their final form in C++17. Concepts lite, filesystem, and networking are set to be released in this form, with concurrency and further library enhancements to follow at a later stage.
Over the course of the meeting, 11 study groups convened to exchange views on topics including modules, reflection, concepts, and databases in order to discuss future developments beyond TS. think-cell was particularly well represented in the SG9 study group on ranges due to the fact that the Berlin-based software company believes ranges are urgently needed in the standard libraries.
think-cell was founded in 2002 in Berlin and is today the leading vendor of productivity software for professional PowerPoint users. Its software covers the complete process of presentation creation – from analysis and preparation of business data to the graphical rendering of qualitative and quantitative results. Most international business consulting firms, as well as a large number of the well-known industrial global leaders, are among think-cell's customers.