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ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages

ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages

What is ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages — C++?

ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages is the international standard that specifies the C++ programming language. This standard defines the syntax, semantics, and libraries of the C++ programming language. It includes features such as new data types, improved support for concurrency, modules, concepts, and other enhancements to the language. C++20 brings several new features and improvements over the previous standard (C++17), aiming to make the language more expressive, efficient, and safer for software development.

Some key features introduced in C++20 include:
  • Concepts: Concepts are a way to specify constraints on template arguments, improving template code readability and error messages.
  • Ranges: The Standard Library introduced the Ranges library, which simplifies working with sequences of data by providing a more modern and composable approach to working with iterators and containers.
  • Coroutines: C++20 introduced coroutines as a way to simplify asynchronous and concurrent programming.
  • Improved support for modules: Modules provide a more efficient and organized way to manage code dependencies and improve build times.
  • New standard library features: C++20 added several new features and improvements to the Standard Library, including the Three-Way Comparison operator (<=>), Calendar and Time Zone support, and more.
  • Language enhancements: C++20 introduced various language improvements, such as improved constexpr capabilities, designated initializers, and more.

Therefore, C++ standards are periodically updated to incorporate new features, improve the language, and address issues found in previous versions. Programmers and organizations often adopt new standards to take advantage of these enhancements and to ensure code compatibility as well as maintainability over time.

Requirements of ISO/IEC 14882:2020

ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages specifies the C++ programming language, includes various requirements and features for the language.

Below are some of the key requirements and features outlined in this standard:
  • Syntax and Semantics: ISO/IEC 14882 specifies the syntax and semantics of the C++ programming language. It defines how C++ programs should be written, how variables and functions are declared and used, and how control structures like loops and conditionals work.
  • Data Types: It defines various data types, including fundamental types (e.g., integers, floating-point numbers, characters), user-defined types (e.g., classes and structures), and pointers.
  • Functions and Function Overloading: C++ supports functions, including function overloading (the ability to define multiple functions with the same name but different parameter lists) and default arguments.
  • Templates: The C++ standard includes support for templates, which allow generic programming. Templates enable the creation of functions and classes that work with different data types.
  • Standard Library: ISO/IEC 14882 specifies the C++ Standard Library, which includes a wide range of pre-defined classes and functions for tasks such as input and output, containers (e.g., vectors, lists, maps), algorithms (e.g., sorting, searching), and more.
  • Memory Management: C++ provides manual memory management through features like new and delete operators, as well as support for automatic memory management using features like smart pointers.
  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): C++ is an object-oriented language, and the standard specifies how classes, objects, inheritance, and polymorphism should work.
  • Exception Handling: It defines how exceptions should be thrown and caught in C++ programs, allowing for better error handling and recovery.
  • Concurrency: C++ includes support for multi-threading and concurrent programming through features like threads, mutexes, condition variables, and atomic operations.
  • Standardization of Features: The standard specifies the adoption of features and improvements that enhance the language, such as concepts, coroutines, ranges, modules, and more.
  • Compatibility: ISO/IEC 14882 ensures a degree of backward compatibility with previous versions of the C++ standard, so that code written in earlier versions of C++ can still be compiled and run, although it might need some adjustments in some cases.
  • Portability: The standard aims to ensure that C++ programs written to conform to the standard are portable across different platforms and compilers, meaning they should work consistently regardless of the underlying hardware or software environment.

Overall, ISO/IEC 14882:2020 (C++20) represents a snapshot of the C++ language at that particular point in time. The C++ standards committee also continues to work on new standards and updates to improve the language and address emerging needs and challenges in software development. Developers should refer to the latest C++ standards for the most up-to-date information and requirements.

Benefits of ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages — C++

The ISO/IEC 14882:2020 standard, which defines the C++ programming language (often referred to as C++20), offers numerous benefits for software development. These benefits contribute to making C++ a powerful and widely-used language in various application domains.

 Here are some of the key benefits:
  • Rich Standard Library: C++ includes a comprehensive standard library that provides a wide range of data structures and algorithms. This library simplifies common programming tasks, reduces the need for reinventing the wheel, and enhances code portability.
  • Performance: C++ is known for its performance, making it suitable for applications where speed and efficiency are critical. It allows low-level memory management, inline assembly, and optimization, making it suitable for system programming and performance-sensitive applications.
  • Flexibility and Abstraction: C++ offers a high degree of abstraction through features like classes, templates, and operator overloading. This enables developers to write clean, reusable, and modular code, enhancing code maintainability and scalability.
  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP): C++ is a powerful object-oriented language, allowing developers to model complex systems using the principles of encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. OOP promotes code organization and reusability.
  • Template Metaprogramming: C++ templates provide a mechanism for generic programming and metaprogramming. This enables the creation of highly flexible and efficient code that can work with different data types and structures.
  • Concurrency Support: C++ offers native support for multithreading and concurrent programming. Features like threads, mutexes, and atomic operations facilitate the development of parallel and concurrent software.
  • Compatibility and Portability: C++ prioritizes backward compatibility, ensuring that code written in previous versions of the language can still be compiled and run with newer compilers. This promotes code longevity and reduces the cost of migration.
  • Community and Ecosystem: C++ has a large and active community of developers, which means abundant resources, libraries, and tools are available. It is used in various industries, including gaming, finance, embedded systems, and scientific computing.
  • Safety and Control: C++ provides fine-grained control over memory management, which can be crucial for resource-constrained or safety-critical systems. Smart pointers and modern memory management techniques help mitigate common pitfalls like memory leaks and buffer overflows.
  • Standardization: The ISO/IEC standardization process ensures that C++ evolves in a systematic and controlled manner. New language features are thoroughly reviewed and tested, leading to a stable and reliable language specification.
  • Modern Language Features: C++20, as defined by ISO/IEC 14882:2020, introduced several modern language features and enhancements, including concepts, coroutines, ranges, and modules, which improve code readability, maintainability, as well as performance.
  • Security: C++ emphasizes security, with features like standard library containers that automatically manage memory and reduce common security vulnerabilities, such as buffer overflows.

Overall, C++ offers numerous benefits, it is a complex language that requires careful design and coding practices to ensure code correctness and maintainability. The choice of programming language should depend on the specific needs and constraints of a project, as well as the skills and preferences of the development team.

Who needs ISO/IEC 14882:2020?

ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages, defines the C++ programming language (commonly referred to as C++20), is relevant to a wide range of individuals and organizations involved in software development and related fields.

Here are some of the key groups of people and entities that benefit from or need to consider this standard:
  • Software Developers: C++ programmers are the primary users of this standard. It provides the language specification and guidelines for writing C++ code. Developers use it to ensure that their code conforms to the language standards and best practices.
  • Software Development Organizations: Companies and organizations that develop software, especially those using C++ as their programming language, need to be aware of and adhere to C++ language standards. This ensures consistency, portability, and long-term maintainability of their codebases.
  • Compilers and Toolchain Developers: Developers of C++ compilers and integrated development environments (IDEs) use the standard to implement and update their tools to support the latest language features and ensure code compatibility.
  • Educational Institutions: Educational institutions that teach C++ programming courses rely on C++ language standards to define the curriculum and teach students the correct and up-to-date language features and best practices.
  • Code Reviewers and Quality Assurance Teams: Teams responsible for code review and quality assurance use the C++ standard to assess the correctness and conformity of C++ code. It serves as a reference for coding guidelines and style checks.
  • Library and Framework Developers: Developers who create C++ libraries and frameworks use the standard to ensure compatibility with the language and adhere to best practices. This ensures that their libraries can be used seamlessly by other developers.
  • Embedded Systems Developers: Those working on embedded systems, where C++ is a common language choice, rely on the standard to ensure that their code conforms to the language specifications and operates reliably in resource-constrained environments.
  • Cross-Platform Development Teams: Developers working on cross-platform projects use C++ language standards to ensure that their code can be compiled and executed consistently across different platforms and compilers.
  • Government and Regulatory Bodies: Some industries, such as aerospace, automotive, and healthcare, have stringent safety and compliance requirements. They may refer to C++ standards when defining safety-critical software development guidelines.
  • Open Source Communities: Open source projects that use C++ as their programming language often follow C++ language standards to ensure compatibility and maintainability across contributors and platforms.
  • Software Architects: Architects who make high-level design decisions for software systems consider C++ standards to understand the language’s capabilities and constraints when designing software systems.
  • Legal and Contractual Considerations: In some cases, contracts or legal agreements may reference specific C++ standards to ensure that software developed for a particular project complies with industry as well as regulatory requirements.

In summary, ISO/IEC 14882:2020-Programming languages is relevant to a broad audience involved in C++ software development, ranging from individual programmers to organizations, educational institutions, toolchain developers, and those in safety-critical and regulated industries. Understanding and adhering to C++ standards is essential for writing correct, maintainable, and portable C++ code also.

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