LLVM Developers Ponder Using C++11 Features
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 09 January 2013 at 01:00 AM EST. 6 Comments
Compiler
While C++11 is an ISO standard and the Clang C/C++ compiler front-end to LLVM has been supporting C++11, developers behind the LLVM compiler infrastructure are still deciding whether to allow C++11 language features within their code-base.

Chris Lattner, Apple employee and founder of the LLVM project, has asked fellow developers about allowing C++11 language features in LLVM itself. With it being a "quiet and peaceful day", Lattner sparked a conversation about "how crazy would it be for us to start using basic C++'11 language features in LLVM." This would only be about C++11 language features but not any C++11 library features. Among the mentioned language features would be auto, rvalue-refs, and lambdas.

For allowing C++11 features to be used within the LLVM code itself, it would need to be decided what features would be allowed and ensuring that the important compilers to building LLVM/Clang can handle the new functionality: Microsoft Visual Studio on Windows, GCC on Linux, and Clang for FreeBSD/OSX.

Chris says, "On the one hand, this would greatly clean up code and is definitely the path forward. On the other hand, I don't want to substantially harm adoption or use of LLVM by adding another burden to building and developing it."

Eventually LLVM will definitely be using the C++11 language, but it's a matter of when it happens and the acceptance criteria. "If doing this would be a big problem for you, please speak up, and explain how/when the problem can be resolved. We will certainly adopt C++'11 features someday, so even if it isn't soon, it is good to have the discussion to find out what the issues are."

The current C++11 LLVM discussion can be found from this developer mailing list thread.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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