History of C++

C++ has evolved over the years through various versions, with each version introducing new features, improvements, and modifications to the language. Some of the notable C++ versions include:

C++98 (ISO/IEC 14882:1998)

The first standardization of C++, it introduced many fundamental features such as templates, exception handling, and the Standard Template Library (STL).

C++03 (ISO/IEC 14882:2003)

This revision of the standard primarily fixed some issues in the previous version and added only minor features and improvements.

C++11 (ISO/IEC 14882:2011)

A significant update, it brought features like lambda expressions, smart pointers, range-based for loops, and a more powerful type inference system (auto and decltype).

C++14 (ISO/IEC 14882:2014)

This version built on C++11, focusing on enhancing existing features rather than introducing new ones. It brought in features like binary literals and variable templates.

C++17 (ISO/IEC 14882:2017)

C++17 introduced several important features, including structured bindings, parallel algorithms, and improved support for standard file systems and regular expressions.

C++20 (ISO/IEC 14882:2020)

The latest standard at my last knowledge update, C++20 introduced major features like concepts, ranges, and coroutines, providing enhanced type checking and simplifying code.

Each new C++ version aims to improve the language's capabilities, make it more expressive, and enhance developer productivity while maintaining backward compatibility with earlier versions. These revisions reflect the evolution of C++ in response to changing software development needs and opportunities for optimization.

Here is a summary of the key differences between the different versions of C++:

Version Key Features
C++98 namespaces, exceptions, standard library
C++03 bool type, constexpr keyword
C++11 move semantics, lambda functions, smart pointers, range-based for loops
C++14 generic lambdas, return type deduction
C++17 std::filesystem, std::variant, std::optional
C++20 concepts, ranges, coroutines

It is important to note that not all compilers support all versions of C++. When choosing a compiler, it is important to make sure that it supports the version of C++ that you want to use.


C++ has undergone multiple versions, each introducing new features and enhancements to the language. Notable versions include C++98, which laid the groundwork for the language, C++11 with its significant additions, C++17 bringing improvements to existing features, and C++20 with major new capabilities like concepts and ranges, all aimed at adapting to changing programming demands and enhancing developer productivity.