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Subject: [boost] A possible date for dropping c++03 support
From: Mike Dev (mike.dev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-08-26 16:19:09

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Boost <boost-bounces_at_[hidden]> On Behalf Of Tim Blechmann via Boost
> Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2018 3:02 PM
> > By then, all major toolchains have had solid c++11 support for at least 5
> > years ( I think, msvc was the last one with VS2015) and at least partial
> > support for 7+ years (gcc 4.8, msvc 2013, clang 3.3).
> compilers are one thing, compiler adoption is another ... I remember
> that in the past "stable" linux distributions provided compilers that
> were considered as "outdated", but that were used in production on HPC
> systems.
> but maybe this is less of an issue these days ..

I don't know, what distributions are used in HPC computing, but if we have
a short look at common linux distributions that have any sort of long term
support, then I'd say things look pretty good there:

- The oldest Ubuntu version supported in 2020 will be 16.04,
  which ships with gcc-5 (and even 14.04 had an almost complete c++11
  toolchain with gcc-4.8)

- With Debian it is AFAIK Debian 8 (gcc 4.9).

- I'm not sure what counts as EOL for RHEL/CentOS (that might be the
  problematic one), but the way I read the matrix in
  the oldest relevant distribution in 2020 (although already in
  Extended Life-cycle Support) will be RHEL 6 which only shipped with

  However, RH provides the developer toolsets which include current
  versions of gcc. I'm not familiar with the details though, so maybe
  someone using RHEL could chime in here.

- I'm somewhat expecting Windows to be the more problematic environment as msvc
  only got full c++11 support in 2015 (at least as far as you can call msvc
  standard conformant prior to the very latest version anyway) and extended
  support for 2013 ends in 2024.

I think in general the question is:
How many projects will there be in 2020 that (for whatever reason) still need to
compile in 03 mode, but at the same time are interested in the latest version of
boost? I'd expect that intersection to be very small, but of course it will be
non-zero - and probably remain so for at least another decade (maybe forever).
Maybe one could start survey, but in any case: does boost really want to provide
free and indefinite support for those projects considering that maintenance is
already a problem for some libraries?
And again: Projects outside of boost can always opt to remain at the last
version that had official 03 support.

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