C++ 23 language standard declared feature-complete

Forthcoming update of C++ will include a standard library module named std. Attention of the ISO C++ Committee now turns to C++ 26.

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C++ 23, a planned upgrade to the popular programming language, is now feature-complete, with capabilities such as standard library module support. On the horizon is a subsequent release, dubbed C++ 26.

The ISO C++ Committee in early February completed technical work on the C++ 23 specification and is producing a final document for a draft approval ballot, said Herb Sutter, chair of the committee, in a blog post on February 13. The standard library module is expected to improve compilation.

Other features slated for C++ 23 include simplifying implicit move, fixing temporaries in range-for loops, multidimensional and static operator[], and Unicode improvements. Also featured is static constexpr in constexpr functions. The full list of features can be found at cppreference.com.

Many features of C++ 23 already have been implemented in major compilers and libraries, Sutter said. A planned C++ 26 release of the language, meanwhile, is slated to emphasize concurrency and parallelism. Stackful coroutines also are slotted for C++ 26, according to February 20 blog post by ISO C++ committee member Antony Poluhkin.

Approvals for C++ 26 features are expected to begin in June. Also sought for post-C++ 23 is work on contracts and SIMD execution, as well as overall improved safety and security. C++ 23 has been dubbed the “pandemic edition” of the language, with work on it going on during that ordeal. Predecessor C++ 20 was completed in February 2020, with final technical approval following in September of that year.

Founded in 1979, C++ recently was named Tiobe Programming Language of the Year for 2022 by the Tiobe Index of language popularity. A recent critique of the memory safety of C++ and the predecessor C language by the US National Security Agency drew a sharp rebuke from C++ designer Bjarne Stroustrup. Stroustrup lauded the C++ language’s use in applications such artificial intelligence/machine learning, aerospace, and bio-medicine.

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