ISO/ IEC JTC1/SC22/WG21 N4137

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Business Plan and Convener's Report
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG21 (C++)

Document:       ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG21 N4137

Date:           2014-08-25

Period Covered: August 2013 - August 2014

Submitted By:   Convener, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG2l
                Herb Sutter
                Microsoft Corporation
                1 Microsoft Way
                Redmond WA 98052
                Tel: +1-425-707-6533



Development and maintenance of ISO/IEC Standards, Technical Specifications, and Technical Reports related to the programming language C++.



JTC1.22.14882 - Programming Language C++ - This project was delivered by the publishing of ISO/IEC 14882:1998, :2003, and :2011, and the DIS approval and pending publication of 14882:2014.

JTC1.22.18015:2006 Information Technology - Programming Languages Technical Report on C++ Performance (Technical Report Type 3) -- Confirmed in 2013 systematic review

JTC1.22.19768:2007 Information Technology - Programming Languages Technical Report of Type 2 on C++ Library Extensions (based on ISO/IEC 14882) -- Confirmed in 2013 systematic review

JTC1.22.24733 Information Technology - Programming Languages Technical Report of Type 2 on Extensions for the programming language C++ to support decimal floating point arithmetic

JTC1.22.29124 Programming Language C++ - International Standard on Special Math Functions


See for a summary of projects underway, including expected upcoming ballots.

JTC1.22.14882 - The current revision completed its DIS ballot this month with a unanimous result, and is proceeding to publication. Work will now continue on the next revision, which will have an NP ballot later this year and is tentatively targeted for publication in 2017.

JTC1.22.18822: C++ Extensions for File System - Currently in its DTS ballot. Targeted for publication in 2014.

JTC1.22.19216: C++ Extensions for Networking - Work is in progress to produce a PDTS draft for ballot in 2015. Tentatively targeted for publication in 2015/16.

JTC1.22.19217: C++ Extensions for Concepts - Work is in progress to produce a PDTS draft for ballot in late 2014. Tentatively targeted for publication in 2015.

JTC1.22.19568: C++ Extensions for Library Fundamentals - Currently in its PDTS ballot. Tentatively targeted for publication in 2015.

JTC1.22.19569: C++ Extensions for Arrays - Work is in progress to produce a PDTS draft for ballot in 2015. Tentatively targeted for publication in 2015.

JTC1.22.19570: C++ Extensions for Parallelism - Currently in its PDTS ballot. Tentatively targeted for publication in 2015.

JTC1.22.19571: C++ Extensions for Concurrency - Work is in progress to produce a PDTS draft for ballot in 2015. Tentatively targeted for publication in 2015.


None in this period.


Where appropriate, WG21 has established liaisons with other SC22 and SC22 liaison organizations' working groups. There is no direct competition with any other current SC22 working group. Related work is being done in SC22/WG14 (C) with broad WG21 liaison.



ISO C++ remains a widely-used foundation technology, well-received in the marketplace.

Although C++ has long been a consistently popular language, since 2011 in particular it has enjoyed a renewed cycle of growth and investment in tools and platform support across the industry. This was driven primarily by the C++11 standard's completion at the same time as the industry saw a resurgence of interest in performance-efficient, hardware-efficient, and especially power-efficient systems programming capability for mobile devices, cloud data centers, high-performance financial systems, vector and GPGPU computing (via nonstandard extensions to C++ that we are now investigating standardizing), and other major growth sectors and environments.

This new cycle of industry investment in C++ includes, but is not limited to, investment in:

    (a) tools, such as the advent of a new major C++ implementation in the Clang compiler and other major new products actively competing to fully implement the latest ISO C++ standard;

    (b) organization, with the establishment of the Standard C++ Foundation trade association in 2012 (see;

    (c) standardization participation, so that at our recent meeting WG21 attendance averages about 100 experts organized into 16 active subgroups -- this includes 12 domain-specific subgroups (e.g., networking, transactional memory) that were established since 2012 and have drawn domain experts who did not previously participate in C++ standardization; and

    (d) faster and more predictable standardization output, including that WG21 has successfully produced an updated C++ IS in three yeras (2011 - 2014) with multiple Technical Specifications currently in progress in various stages of preparation and balloting (see 1.2.2).


JTC1.22.14882 - Programming Language C++ - International Standard is complete and is expected to be published in 2014.

Work is progressing quickly on seven Technical Specifications, most expected to be complete within the next two years. Much of the content in these are likely candidates for inclusion in the next planned revision of IS 14882 in 2017.


WG21 has grown considerably over the past two years, which reflects the continued growth and investment in C++ across the industry as noted in 2.1.

WG21 meets two to three times per year in co-located technical sessions with the US committee J16. Where mutually convenient, WG21 has timed its technical sessions to catenate with WG14, allowing those technical experts that would like to attend both technical sessions the opportunity to do so. (The convener of WG21 wishes to thank the outgoing and incoming conveners of WG14 for their much-appreciated efforts at harmonious liaison.)

Eighteen countries participate by attending these meetings or by being involved in the technical discussions that take place over the reflector. The countries are: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, DPR of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States of America.  WG21 has been monitoring the cross-language standards activities, and made use of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 guidelines on extended characters.


  SC22/WG14 - C
    Steve Clamage (Oracle, USA)
    Michael Wong (IBM, USA)
    Clark Nelson (Intel, USA)
    P.J. Plauger (Dinkumware, USA)
    Tana Plauger (Dinkumware, USA)
    Tom Plum (Plum Hall, USA)

  SC22/WG23 - Vulnerabilities
    Tom Plum (Plum Hall, USA)



WG21 is working on publishing JTC.22.14882 (IS C++) and progressing several other TS projects as noted in 1.2.2. Several are expected to progress to their next ballot stages, and in some cases to publication, in the next 12 months.


WG21 members have been meeting in parallel subgroups and coordinating work between meetings via e-mail reflectors, teleconferences, and wiki. WG21 is working on revisions to the central IS JTC1.22.14882 on a more regular three-year cadence. In addition, WG21 is parallelizing its work products by producing many work items first as Technical Specifications, which enables each independent work item to progress at its own speed and with less friction, and enables more experimental work to progress outside the main standard until it is more mature while still providing a reference for commercial implementations. When ready, these TS's can then be considered adopted (in whole or in part, and with changes) into the ISO C++ standard.

As of this writing, WG21 has 12 active Study Groups focusing on progressing specific areas, and which meet between WG21 face-to-face meetings via telecon and/or their own face-to-face meetings. These domain-specific groups have directly led to increased participation by leading experts in those domains who had not previously participated in WG21. For a current list of Study Groups, see

3.3. RISKS



Nothing new to report.


WG21 intends to continue working on new language and/or library extensions with a view to publishing multiple TSes in 2015, to be followed by other TSes and then another new JTC1.22.14882 IS in 2017.





The following individuals have been appointed project editors and backups.

Currently active projects:

  JTC1.22.14882, Programming Language C++:
    Richard Smith (editor)
    Jonathan Wakely (backup)

  JTC1.22.18822: File System Library
    Beman Dawes (editor)
    Stefanus Du Toit (backup)

  JTC1.22.19216: Networking
    Kyle Kloepper (editor)

  JTC1.22.19217: Concepts
    Andrew Sutton (editor)

  JTC1.22.19568: Library Fundamentals
    Jeffrey Yasskin (editor)

  JTC1.22.19569: Arrays
    Lawrence Crowl (editor)

  JTC1.22.19570: Parallelism
    Jared Hoberock (editor)

  JTC1.22.19571: Concurrency
    Artur Laksberg (editor)

Complete projects:

  JTC1.22.14882:2014, Programming Language C++:
    Stefanus Du Toit (editor)
    Lawrence Crowl (backup)

  JTC1.22.14882:2011, Programming Language C++:
    Pete Becker (editor)
    Lawrence Crowl (backup)
    Tom Plum (former backup, until 2006)

  JTC1.22.24733, Technical Report on Extensions to Support Decimal Floating Point Arithmetic
    Robert Klarer (editor)
    Pete Becker (backup)

  JTC1.22.14882:1998 and :2003, Programming Language C++:
    Andrew Koenig (editor)
    Tom Plum (backup)

  JTC1.22.29124 Programming Language C++ - Special Math Functions
    Walter Brown (editor)
    Pete Becker (backup)

  JTC1.22.19768, Technical Report on C++ Library Extensions
    Matt Austern (editor)
    Pete Becker (backup)

  JTC1.22.18015, Technical Report on C++ Performance
    Lois Goldthwaite (editor)
    Detlef Vollmann (backup)
    Martin O'Riordan (former editor, until 2003)

Cancelled projects:

  JTC1.22.24737, Technical Report on C++ Library Extensions
    Matt Austern (editor)
    Pete Becker (backup)


WG21 has conducted much of its detailed technical discussion using the email reflector provided by

WG21 uses a secure wiki maintained by Edison Design Group. This secure wiki is used for quick exchange of documents during and between meetings.

WG21 is now providing all the appropriate committee documents electronically, eliminating the need for paper mailings. WG21 is now in the process of publishing new documents via LiveLink. In the past, WG21 also has an FTP and Web site at provided by courtesy of Keld Simonsen, and at provided by courtesy of the Standard C++ Foundation.


See for a list of recent and future meetings.