GCC 4.8 migrates to C++
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 29 March 2013

The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is now fully implemented in C++ following the release of GCC 4.8.0. The new version also adds performance improvements and new tools.

The work on moving to C++ has been going on for some years. The team behind GCC give the following reasons for the switch on the GCC wiki:

  • C++ is a standardized, well known, popular language.
  • C++ is nearly a superset of C90 used in GCC.
  • The C subset of C++ is just as efficient as C.
  • C++ supports cleaner code in several significant cases.
  • C++ makes it easier to write and enforce cleaner interfaces.
  • C++ never requires uglier code.
  • C++ is not a panacea but it is an improvement.

Alongside the move to C++, the new version has a new general optimisation level, -Og, that according to the changes log addresses the need for fast compilation and a superior debugging experience while providing a reasonable level of runtime performance.

The memory error detector AddressSanitizer has been added to the new version, along with the ThreadSanitizer tool. This is a data race detector that is based on Valgrind under Linux and Mac, and PIN on Windows.

More Information

GCC wiki

Source code for GCC 4.8.0

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Last Updated ( Friday, 29 March 2013 )