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C++ (pronounced "see plus plus") is a multi-paradigm programming language, which supports object-oriented programming; developed, during the 1980s, by Bjarne Stroustrup of Bell Labs. C++ is derived from C. C++ was standardized in 1998 (ISO/IEC 14882-1998[?]). Along with it's object-oriented design, C++ is distinguished from C with its support for generic programming[?] and template metaprogramming; via alias types[?], in-line expansion, templates, and //-commenting. In-line expansion and //-commenting were added to C, as part of the C99 update.

Table of contents

History of C++ Stroustrup began work on the language in 1979, inspired by Simula67[?], and the language was first used, by AT&T, in August 1983. The original compiler was Cfront. The first commercial release was in October 1985.

History of the Name "C++" While most C is valid C++, C is not a subset of C++; although, the names do indicate a distinct relationship. This name is credited to Rick Mascitti[?] (mid-1983) and was first used in December '83. Earlier, during the research period, the developing language had been referred to as "C with Classes". The name stems from C's "++" operator (which increments the value of a variable) and a common naming convention of using "+" to indicate an enhanced computer program, for example: "Wikipedia+". According to Stroustrup: "the name signifies the evolutionary nature of the changes from C". C+[?] was earlier used as the name for an unrelated program.

Some C programmers have noted that if the statements x=3; and y=x++; are executed, then x==4 and y==3. However, if the second statement is y=++x;, then y=4 and x=4.

Following such reasoning, a more proper name for C++ might actually be ++C. However, other C programmers do use the expression "c++" to increment the variable "c".

Ownership of C++ Nobody owns C++. Stroustrup and AT&T are not paid royalties for the usage of C++.

"Hello Wikipedia!" Program The below code can be compiled into a program which outputs a text message. See also: Hello world program

#include <iostream> // The <iostream> header is needed for std::cout
 
int main() // Beginning of main() function
{          // { ... } is used to include blocks of code
    std::cout << "Hello, Wikipedia!\n"; // Outputs the text enclosed by ""
}

Note that older (non-standard) C++ compilers (such as Borland C++ 5.02[?]) usually require <iostream.h> instead of the standard <iostream>, and cout instead of std::cout.

Class definition

#include <string>
using std::string;

class InetMessage
{
  string m_subject, m_to, m_from;

public:
  InetMessage (const string& subject,
	       const string& to,
	       const string& from);
  string subject () const;
  string to () const;
  string from () const;
};

C++ library

The C++ standard library is mostly a superset of of the C standard library. A large part of the C++ library comprises the Standard Template Library (STL). The STL provides such useful tools as iterators (which are like high-level pointers) and containers (whuch are like arrays that can automatically grow to include new elements). As in C, the features of the library are accessed by using the #include directive to include a standard header. There are fifty non-deprecated standard headers provided in C++:

  • <algorithm>
  • <bitset>
  • <cassert>
  • <cctype>
  • <cerrno>
  • <cfloat>
  • <ciso646>
  • <climits>
  • <clocale>
  • <cmath>
  • <complex>
  • <csetjmp>
  • <csignal>
  • <cstdarg>
  • <cstddef>
  • <cstdio>
  • <cstdlib>
  • <cstring>
  • <ctime>
  • <cwchar>
  • <cwctype>
  • <deque>
  • <exception>
  • <fstream>
  • <functional>
  • <iomanip>
  • <ios>
  • <iosfwd>
  • <iostream>
  • <istream>
  • <iterator>
  • <limits>
  • <list>
  • <locale>
  • <map>
  • <memory>
  • <new>
  • <numeric>
  • <ostream>
  • <queue>
  • <set>
  • <sstream>
  • <stack>
  • <stdexcept>
  • <streambuf>
  • <string>
  • <typeinfo>
  • <utility>
  • <valarray>
  • <vector>

The headers of the form <cfoo> correspond to the C headers of the form <foo.h> (except for <complex>, which is new in C++). These C headers are also allowed in C++, but are deprecated. A compatibility header <strstream> is also provided and deprecated.

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