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01 June 2010, 10:53

GCC allows C++ – to some degree

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GCC Logo Effective immediately, the GNU Compiler Collection Steering Committee and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) have decided to allow the use of C++ constructs within the source code of the compiler itself. According to a post by Mark Mitchell on the GCC mailing list, however, advanced C++ features such as multiple inheritance, templates and exceptions are to be avoided – the source code of the GNU Compiler Collection is to remain easily understandable for C programmers and should only include constructs that don't lend themselves to errors.

As a next step, the developers plan to create a coding standard for C++ for the GCC. This is to be based on the C++98 standard. Mitchell writes that C++ is a big language and that such a standard should, therefore, enumerate the permitted C++ constructs.

Originally know as the GNU C Compiler, the GNU Compiler Collection has grown over time to include support for other languages and support for compilation of C++ code was added some years ago, although the compiler itself continued to be written in C. The current release series of the GCC is version 4.5.0.

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