Visual C++ Compiler November 2013 CTP

We just shipped Visual C++2013 last month, but I announced at GoingNative in September that there would be more soon: another CTP (compiler preview) containing another batch of C++11/14 features, sometime in the fourth quarter.

I’m happy to report that today we shipped the promised CTP. Compared to the “high probability in CTP” feature set I mentioned in my GoingNative talk, one of those features I mentioned didn’t quite make it (C++14 generalized lambda capture, a.k.a. move capture and more), but to compensate, both medium-probability features made it (C++14 generic lambdas and C++11 inheriting constructors) plus, as a bonus, also alignof and alignas which we didn’t think would make it for the CTP but did. Here’s the full set of new features, pasting from the announcement:

  • Implicit move special member function generation (thus also completing =default)
  • Reference qualifiers on member functions (a.k.a. “& and && for *this“)
  • Thread-safe function local static initialization (a.k.a. “magic statics”)
  • Inheriting constructors
  • alignof/alignas
  • __func__
  • Extended sizeof
  • constexpr (except for member functions)
  • noexcept (unconditional)
  • C++14 decltype(auto)
  • C++14 auto function return type deduction
  • C++14 generic lambdas (with explicit lambda capture list)
  • (Proposed for C++17) Resumable functions and await

The most-requested feature of C++14, and the one I’ve personally been anticipating the most, is generic lambdas — it is sweet to see it working right within Visual Studio 2013, as the CTP installs as a selectable toolset you can use within the shipping product to edit and build (no Intellisense or red squiggles though). Note that for this CTP, your lambda can be either generic (have an auto parameter type) or have a default capture list (e.g., [=] or [&]), but not both — of course we’ll support both together in the future as the feature makes a future release.

As far as I know, this Visual C++ CTP is the first shipping (albeit CTP quality) C++ compiler to offer generic lambdas, though I expect Clang and gcc to also make them available soon — joy for C++ developers everywhere!

Once again, thank you very much again to the great Visual C++ team for producing this CTP; even as we speak, they’re hard at work on more. Thanks again also to the other members of the ISO C++ committee for producing a great and high-quality C++11 and soon-to-be-not-draft C++14.

I hope you enjoy trying out this CTP.

(V)C++ recorded talks at VS 2013 Launch

As part of today’s VS 2013 launch, in addition to the live talks and Q&A we also have some recently recorded talks that are now also live. My talk is a quick 20-minute tour of the new ISO C++ conformance features in VC++ 2013 — nothing I haven’t said before, so if you’ve seen my last two Build talks you’ve seen this material, only here I’ve condensed it to a distilled two-minute overview of each feature using examples.

Here they are, each between 4 and 20 minutes long. Note that these are just the (V)C++-specific topics — be sure to look at the Related Videos of each to see other new features that light up for C++ as well as for other languages.

ISO C++ Additions in Visual C++ 2013 (Herb Sutter)

ISO C++ received a major upgrade with the latest standard, adding many features that make the language both simpler and more powerful. Visual C++ 2010 and 2012 have already implemented a number of these features, from auto to range-for to lambdas.  In this video, Herb Sutter reviews the additional ISO C++ standards conformance improvements in Visual C++ 2013, and how each of them contributes to making modern C++ code clean, safe, and faster than ever.

​What’s New for C++ Developers in Visual Studio 2013 IDE​ (Jennifer Leaf)

Visual Studio 2013 includes several compelling new features for C++ developers.  In this video, you’ll learn about IntelliSense improvements, the new code formatting feature, and other changes that help you navigate through and write your code.

New Compiler Optimizations for C++ Applications (Jim Hogg & Ankit Asthana)

C++ developers will find many improvements in Visual Studio 2013 — including new versions of the compiler, linker and tools — that make code run faster.  In this video we’ll cover C++ performance improvements, including better vectorization; permutation in the order of loop nests; better Profile-Guided Optimization (that now applies to Windows Store apps); a new vector calling convention; and more support for C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism (AMP).

Debugging Improvements for C++ Developers (Brad Sullivan)

Visual Studio 2013 includes numerous improvements for debugging C++ applications.  In this video we’ll demo two of these features: Just My Code and JavaScript/Native Interop Debugging.

Introducing Visual Studio 2013 for Windows Developers Building C++ Apps (Raman Sharma)

Visual C++ in Visual Studio 2013 includes improvements for Windows App developers in the core language and libraries, as well in tooling, debugging and designers.  This video will provide an overview of these new features in Visual Studio 2013 for C++ developers building Windows Store apps.

Live Visual C++ Q&A today

As part of the VS 2013 launch today, in a few hours I will be joining Tarek Madkour and Ale Contenti on camera for about half an hour to answer questions about VC++2013. Tarek and Ale are two of the three-manager triad who run our VC++ team.

Visual C++ in 2013 and Beyond

with Charles Torre, Ale Contenti, Tarek Madkour, and Herb Sutter

Date: November 13, 2013
Time: 12:45pm PST (approx.)

I believe the session will be recorded and available on demand in a couple of days.

Reminder: VC++2013 upgrade SKU available until end of January

Recap: Back in June, Microsoft:

  • announced that were were moving to a faster cadence and shipped VS 2013 one year after VS 2012;
  • announced that new ISO C++ conformance features from the November 2012 CTP (and more) would be available in VS 2013, but not in VS 2012 Updates; and
  • didn’t announce pricing for VS 2013, so people who had just paid for VS 2012 Professional (only that specific SKU) were concerned that they might be charged full price again for VS 2013 Professional. (This applies to Professional only, because all other SKUs get free upgrades anyway — Express is always free, and Premium and Ultimate are subscription-based with free upgrades included in the subscription.)

I just want to remind anyone who bought VS 2012 Professional that when the actual pricing was announced last month, it was announced that to ease the transition there would be a limited time promotional upgrade from VS 2012 Professional to VS 2013 Professional for $99, available from early November (now) until the end of January. You can wait until after the holidays to decide whether you want it, but I thought I’d just give another heads-up about the time limit if this upgrade matters to you.

I hope this is a good value, as VS 2013 has lots of new features for C++ users beyond just the additional ISO C++ conformance: lots of editor improvements from simple things like brace completion and parameter-sensitive Intellisense to the (IMO cool) enhanced scrollbar and peek definition; C++ AMP improvements; optimization improvements including a smarter auto-vectorizer; and much more. See this blog post for an overview of what’s new in VC++ 2013 — the team did a lot in just one year, and thank you again to everyone who helped to make this happen!

What’s next for Visual C++:

  • At Build and GoingNative, we announced that a preview CTP of the next batch of C++11/14 language features will be available this quarter. We’re still on track for that. Watch vcblog and this space for the announcement.
  • Tomorrow is the VS 2013 virtual launch. Given that we already shipped the product itself a month ago so that you already have it in your hands, is there any reason to watch the launch? Short answer: Yes, I think you’ll find it interesting and worth your while.