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History of C++

Last Updated : 13 Jun, 2022
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The C++ language is an object-oriented programming language & is a combination of both low-level & high-level language – a Middle-Level Language. The programming language was created, designed & developed by a Danish Computer Scientist – Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Telephone Laboratories (now known as Nokia Bell Labs) in Murray Hill, New Jersey. As he wanted a flexible & a dynamic language which was similar to C with all its features, but with additionality of active type checking, basic inheritance, default functioning argument, classes, inlining, etc. and hence C with Classes (C++) was launched. 

C++ was initially known as “C with classes, ” and was renamed C++ in 1983. ++ is shorthand for adding one to variety in programming; therefore C++ roughly means that “one higher than C.” 



  • The trace of the programming language C++ can be done back to 1979 when Bjarne Stroustrup was doing some development for this thesis for PhD. One in all the words Stroustrup had the chance to figure with, was a language referred to as Simula, that because the name implies, could be a language primarily designed for simulations. The Simula sixty-seven language – that was the variant that Stroustrup worked with is considered the primary language to support the object-oriented programming paradigm. Stroustrup found that this paradigm was helpful for package development; but, the Simula language was way too slow for practice & practical use.
  • Shortly subsequently, he began work on “C with Classes“, because what the name implies was meant to be a superset of the C language. His main dream was to get his advanced object-oriented programming, created by him, into the C language, which was during his era was still the programming language that was widely respected for its movability, portability & compactness, by not sacrificing the speed or the low-level practicality. His programming language enclosed inlining, basic inheritance, default function arguments, categories, and reliable sort was checking additionally to all or any the options of the C language.
  • The first C with categories compiler was referred to as Cfront, that got derived from a C compiler referred to as CPre. It had been a program designed to translate C with categories code to universal C. A rather attention-grabbing purpose value noting is that Cfront was written mostly in C with classes, creating it a self-hosting compiler (a compiler which will compile itself). Cfront would later be abandoned in 1993 when it became troublesome to integrate new options into it, mainly C++ exceptions. Even so, Cfront created a significant impact on the implementations of future compilers and also the operating system UNIX.
  • In 1983, the name of the language got modified from C with categories to C++. The ++ operator within the C language is the associate operator for incrementing a variable, which provides some insight into however Stroustrup regarded the programming language. Several new options got additional around this point, the foremost notable of that area unit virtual functions, perform overloading, references with the const keyword, and single-line comments by using the two forward slashes (which may be a feature taken from the language BCPL).
  • In 1985, Stroustrup’s relation to the language entitled The C++ programming language was printed and got released. That very same year, C++ got enforced as an advertisement product and hence starting of it as a commercial element. The programming language wasn’t formally standardized, nevertheless creating the book an essential reference. The programming language was updated once more in 1989 to incorporate protected and static members, still as an associate inheritance from many categories & classes.
  • In 1990, The Annotated C++ manual, which was a reference got released all over. In 1990 only, in the same & identical year, Borland’s Turbo C++ compiler would also be commercially discharged as an advertisement product. Turbo C++ additional an excessiveness of other libraries which might have a substantial impact on C++’s development. Though Turbo C++’s last stable unharness was in 2006, the compiler continues to get widely used.
  • In 1998, the C++ customary advisory & standards committee printed the first international standard for C++ ISO/IEC 14882:1998, which might be informally called C++98. The Annotated C++ manual was aforementioned to be a significant influence within the development of the quality. The quality template library (also known as the Standard Template Library) that began its intellectual construction in 1979 got additionally enclosed in it. In 2003, the committee well-versed multiple issues that were according with their 1998 customary and revised it consequently. The modified language got dubbed as C++03.
  • In 2005, the same committee of C++ discharged a technical report (called as TR1) particularization varied options they were aiming to boost the newest C++ standard. The new rule was informally dubbed C++0x because it was expected to be discharged someday before the tip of the first decade. Ironically, however, the new customary wasn’t fulfilled until mid-2011. Many technical reports were discharged up till then, and a few compilers began adding experimental support for the new options and features.
  • In mid-2011, the new C++ customary (dubbed C++11) got finished. The Boost library project created a substantial impact on the new rule, and a few of the new modules were derived directly from the corresponding Boost libraries. A number of the new options that got included were: 
    1. New for loop syntax providing practicality just like foreach loops in specific different languages
    2. Customary threading library (which up till 2011 each C and C++ were lacking)
    3. Variadic templates
    4. Automotive vehicle (AUTO) keyword
    5. New instrumentation categories & classes
    6. New C++ time library, atomics support
    7. Comprehensive organization library
    8. Regular expression support
    9. Higher support for unions and array-initialization lists
  • C++20 is the latest version of C++. A newer & advanced version of C++ is being released, i.e. C++23.
  • C++ is still the third most popular programming language according to the TIOBE Index’s latest study of 2019, behind Java & C, by knocking out Python. All credits for this go to the newly released C++11 version, which according to the users made it much robust, safer, easier simpler, and more expressive.

Bjarne Stroustrup has created excellent work with C++. C could be a low-level programming language, and so, it does not have any classes. It does not contain several options which will create programming more well-off, however, is that the quickest language (assembly is more rapid; however, programming in construction isn’t one thing you’d consider), what Bjarne Stroustrup did he additional the thing orientated half, by treating code like life objects. What makes C++ therefore lovely is that it’s the speed of C and it’s additionally a high-level programming language, therefore allow us to say the most effective of each world. However on the opposite hand, C++ is challenging to be noted to newbies, and for an equivalent code that you wrote on C++, you’ll be able to write in Python for the quarter of the time. 

Features of C++: 
The five best features of C++ are:- 

  1. It is the most primarily used language in competitive programming as far as facts go. Most of the extremely rated coders typically use C++ for cryptography. You’ll see it on any online websites.
  2. STL (standard guide library): Its an extremely time-saver for people who recognize C and still writing code for bubble type.
  3. Operator overloading
  4. Multiple inheritances. Voluminous languages don’t have this facility.
  5. Ability to modularize code, encapsulation, and polymorphism after all.

Summary Table of history of various C++ versions: 

Version Release Date Major changes
C++98 (ISO/IEC 14882:1998) October 1998 The first version
C++03 (ISO/IEC 14882:2003) February 2003 Introduction of value initialization.
C++11 August 2011 Introduction of Lambda Expressions, Delegating Constructors, Uniform Initialization Syntax, nullptr, Automatic Type Deduction and decltype, Rvalue References etc.
C++14 August 2014 Introduction of polymorphic lambdas, digit separators, generalized lambda capture, variable templates, binary integer literals, quoted strings etc.
C++17 December 2017 Introduction of fold expressions, hexadecimal floating point literals, a u8 character literal, selection statements with initializer, inline variables etc.



This update extends C++ with the facilities to inspect program entities such as variables, enumerations, classes and their members, lambdas and their captures, etc.
C++23 Future Release The next major revision of the C++ standard


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