Comment: The speed of Clang Development

Nicola left this comment on “The Growth of C++11 Support“:

“It’s interesting to see how far behind Clang starts in comparison to the others, and that it ends up in a close dance with GCC on the way to full C++11 support.”

Yeah, but the little detail is that the first version of clang that you listed, 2.8, probably didn’t support C++ at all. Clang is such a young project after all. The first versions supported C and Objective-C (that were the main interests for Apple which at the time was the main and only real contributor). Then they started the development of C++ support and it took them less than two years to implement the full C++03 standard! This chart really doesn’t express how fast clang developers have worked to support this very complex language.

Between http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clang and http://llvm.org/releases/ it appears that Clang was able to compile all of Boost as of (or soon thereafter) version 2.7 — I think it’s fair to say that C++03 support was pretty robust as of version 2.8.

This chart illustrate exactly how quickly C++11 support has been added to Clang: starting behind the others, Clang was second to have full C++11 support, and (iirc) only second because of the timing of release cycles. The same pattern is clear in the other charts: the rate that modern C++ support has been added to Clang has consistently outstripped that of the competition.

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