GCC Moves Forward With Conversion To C++
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 12 August 2012 at 07:43 PM EDT. 105 Comments
The GCC initiative to convert more of the code-base from C to C++ as the implementation language for this leading open-source compiler is nearing fruition. On Sunday, Google's Diego Novillo published a set of GCC patches for merging the C++ conversion into trunk.

The set of six patches so far implement the changes made within GCC's cxx-conversion branch and change the default boot-strap process so that stage one of the compiler build always happens with a C++ compiler. It's possible the cxx-conversion branch could be merged for GCC 4.8, which will be released in 2013. Back in April I wrote about the aim for the C++ switch being GCC 4.8.

The patches published on Sunday are currently floating on the gcc-patches mailing list.

As far as why the GCC code-base is being converted to C++, see the cxx-conversion Wiki page. The rationale for migrating the GNU Compiler Collection to C++ comes down to C++ is standardized and popular, is nearly a super-set of C90 currently used in GCC, the C subset of C++ is just as efficient as C, C++ supports cleaner code, C++ makes it easier to write and enforce cleaner interfaces, C++ never requires uglier code, and C++ is not a panacea but is seen as an improvement.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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