[Releasing] Non C++11 compilers

Jason H jhihn at gmx.com
Tue Jun 30 22:57:32 CEST 2015

I was perusing the archive of this list so I would know what to expect tomorrow and saw that there was a suggestion to drop non C++11 compilers.

As a former embedded developer, I have to be concerned about that. A number of legacy software projects in the embedded space have ancient compilers in the BSP (board support packages). The project I was formerly a part of had code from 1992, released in 1994 on a 68000, and had been ported through the years to various AMX-ish RTOSes. The code base is still alive and well, having been ported to a PPC 832e and now later PPC chip. I had been working on modernizing the code base to eventually port the GUI to Qt. This project has seen exactly 2 changes to the compilers in the 20 years it's been on the market. Both Metrowerks (Now Freescale).

While it may not be 'cool' or 'hip' I'd caution against the dropping of non C++11 compilers. These legacy systems are still out there. I don't know how anecdotal my experience is of other projects, but it was a $8B USD company. I know these systems aren't that sexy when a TI ARM7 has a GPU on it, and can be had for dollars, but I think plenty are out there. 

Meanwhile.... I've never used any C++11 feature, or typed any line of C++11 code. I personally am against the idea of C++11, as it fractures the code base of C++ into C++98 and C++11. I use Qt because it compiles everywhere and gets me past the limitations of C++98 in an easy way. I won't be able to do that if Qt drops C++98 support.

So in summary, I think dropping C++98-only compilers will significantly detract from Qt features in unanticipated ways.

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