C++ in 2014
by Jens Weller
As the year is just a couple of weeks old, what can we expect from C++ in 2014?
About a year ago I asked the same question for 2013, and I think I did a good job. So, I'll post my expectations for 2014. There is the one obvious thing, which everyone expects, C++14, I'll get back later to it. I think that 2014 will be an important year for C++, not just because of C++14, but because of C++11 being fully implemented in GCC and clang in 2013, and also with Visual Studio 2013 important features of C++11 are available across most compilers. The average "C++ Joe" can now start to use C++11, even (hopefully) at work. Also, the early adopters of C++11 can show us, how the style of C++11 should look like.
And thats my main point, that with some years of experience in C++11, C++11 is now ready for the masses. Compilers, Toolsets its all there, just grab it and use it. Eric Niebler did a great keynote at Meeting C++ last year, on how to write libraries with C++11, and Peter Sommerlad gave excellent directions on how to use the new features of C++11 and C++14. C++14 will improve further C++11, and first compilers are already available.
Eric did dedicate his keynote to motivate people to write libraries with C++11. And there is already a great set of new C++11 driven libraries on github and else where available. So, I expect to see more C++11 made, new libraries for all kind of things popping up this year. Also, a set of existing frameworks and libraries has started to adopt to C++11, and I hope other libraries will start to do this (wxWidgets I'm looking at you).
Last year boost started a long planned undertaking of moving from SVN to git. With this, boost will become more modular. Also as boost is for some part of the C++ Community the workhorse, moving to C++11 and later C++14 will be very interesting. I think boost is currently a very interesting place to get involved in. There has been a discussion of moving to boost 2.0, so maybe 2014 will also become the year of boost 2.0. But before this, boost 1.56 will most likely be released before C++Now.
2013 has been a very good year for Qt, the new 5.x branch has become stable. From its roadmap, Qt will release to new versions in 2014, 5.3 and (maybe) 5.4. With Qt5.2 Qt has added Android and iOS as new mobile platforms, so I think with 2014, for Qt its going to be all about mobile and its QML Stack. Also with 5.2 Qt switched here to their own engine for running QML, moving away from Google V8. So for 2014 I expect Qt to focus on QML and further Integration of QML with C++, and having even more platforms available. Currently there is a RC for WinRT, maybe Qt will be available for Windows Phone in 2014? So in 2014 the success of Qt will continue.
I'm not sure if I should do any predictions, I already know that there are new C++ User Groups in Aachen, Dortmund, Heidelberg and Munich in Germany, also a russian C++ User Group is now meeting in St. Petersburg and Moscow. I think a few others will follow, so, what started 2012 in Düsseldorf with my own little User Group continues to grow. I will continue through 2014 to support all C++ User Groups in Europe and beyond through Meeting C++, and look forward to visit some of them too. This week I already was at the C++ User Group Berlin.
As 2013, this year will feature great conferences. Not all have yet been announced, Meeting C++ 2014 will move to Berlin this year, but I think I'm able to announce it not before February. We'll have a student program this year as a little spoiler. I've already added a few conferences in the event section, the spring brings ACCU, Clang Conference, ADC++ and C++Now. Also later in the year there will be a new conference, C++Con, but yet not many details I know about this conference. Afaik it will be in September in Seattle.
Well, I think this is the most obvious point about this year. There is a huge expectation that C++14 gets out, otherwise we'll have to name it C++15 ;) Clang has already the known features for C++14 implemented, but its not totally sure that there could be still changes coming. The next Meeting of the C++ Committee should send C++14 on its way hopefully, if not, in 2014 there will be also 2 other Committee Meetings, so it looks very good. So, 2014 could become the year of C++14. Still, as I wrote earlier, I think that C++11 will hit the masses in this year, plus that GCC and Clang most likely will offer full C++14 support. Which is great, as C++14 improves C++11 in a lot of ways (lambdas f.e.).