Friday 14 December 2012

Embarcadero’s C++ stories

There’s been some chatter over recent months (and maybe even years) over the pending 64-bit C++ compiler for Windows from Borl^H^H^H^H Embarcadero. And now it’s here – the press release can be found at this link! Released days ago it’s a free update for users of C++Builder XE3 or RAD Studio XE3 and is now included in the install for new customers and in the trial version.

So C++Builder can now generates 32-bit Windows and OS X applications and 64-bit Windows applications. The beta program for the mobile support (for iOS and Android) is under way and expected to be done by the end of the first half of 2013. XE3 customers have priority access to the beta program.

David I posted up a great a potted history of Borland/CodeGear/Embarcadero’s C and C++ technology in this post, which charts the course from Turbo C on DOS through Turbo C++ on DOS and protected mode DOS, Borland C++ on DOS, Windows 3 and 3.1, then OS/2, Turbo C++ for Windows 3.1, then C++Builder for Win32 and (briefly) C++Builder X for enterprise and mobile platforms. Interestingly the post skips over the C++ compilers present in Kylix 2 and 3 (November 2001 and July 2002 respectively), which targeted ELF executables that run on Linux.

The new 64-bit release is based on the CLANG compiler front end and the LLVM optimising compiler back end, with Borland/Embarcadero extensions added in to work on VCL/FMX applications. It’s the first commercial CLANG implementation that targets Windows, so a lot of work was required to get this project to this point of being released.

The focus of this release is language conformance and support for C++11, which comes from the work already done by the CLANG project and now available to C++Builder customers. There are some blog posts on the new C++11 features in the list below. You can see what’s new in this release in the online docwiki.

I write this post not long after the C++ version of the free online CodeRage 7 conference has finished. The Win64 C++ compiler was announced at the start of the conference, and the conference sessions should become available online real soon, as the sessions from the Delphi CodeRage 7 have done. One of the first sessions on the first day of the C++ conference was a chat between David I and Bjarne Stroustrup (work page and home page), the designer and original implementer of C++. It was great to hear his views and opinions on all things C++. There’s a write-up of that session in this blog post.

To celebrate C++Builder’s move into the 64-bit world David I is spending much of December blogging about C++ in what he calls The 25 Days of C++mas. Current posts are as follows. I’ll try and add to this list a the days go by.

  1. C++Builder XE3 64-bit compiler
  2. Some of my favorite C++11 links
  3. Survey of favorite C+11 features
  4. The path to C++11 and the future
  5. Stricter C++Builder Win64 compiler
  6. Get a C++Builder 64-bit Boost!
  7. Pre-compiled Header Files
  8. A/V Capture Devices and Sensors
  9. C++Builder 64-bit Debugging
  10. C++Builder XE3 64-bit compiler is released
  11. A recap of my conversation with Bjarne Stroustrup
  12. Checking 12/12/12 12:12:12.12 with C++Builder
  13. Migrating C++ Code to 64-bit

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