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How to determine the version of the C++ standard used by the compiler?

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

How do you determine what version of the C++ standard is implemented by your compiler? As far as I know, below are the standards I’ve known:

  • C++03
  • C++98
Answers:

By my knowledge there is no overall way to do this. If you look at the headers of cross platform/multiple compiler supporting libraries you’ll always find a lot of defines that use compiler specific constructs to determine such things:

/*Define Microsoft Visual C++ .NET (32-bit) compiler */
#if (defined(_M_IX86) && defined(_MSC_VER) && (_MSC_VER >= 1300)
     ...
#endif

/*Define Borland 5.0 C++ (16-bit) compiler */
#if defined(__BORLANDC__) && !defined(__WIN32__)
     ...
#endif

You probably will have to do such defines yourself for all compilers you use.

Questions:
Answers:

From the Bjarne Stroustrup C++0x FAQ:

__cplusplus

In C++0x the macro __cplusplus will be set to a value that differs
from (is greater than) the current 199711L.

Although this isn’t as helpful as one would like. gcc (apparently for nearly 10 years) had this value set to 1, ruling out one major compiler, until it was fixed when gcc 4.7.0 came out.

These are the C++ standards and what value you should be able to expect in __cplusplus:

  • C++ pre-C++98: __cplusplus is 1.
  • C++98: __cplusplus is 199711L.
  • C++98 + TR1: This reads as C++98 and there is no way to check that I know of.
  • C++11: __cplusplus is 201103L.
  • C++14: __cplusplus is 201402L.
  • C++17: __cplusplus is 201703L.

If the compiler might be an older gcc, we need to resort to compiler specific hackery (look at a version macro, compare it to a table with implemented features) or use Boost.Config (which provides relevant macros). The advantage of this is that we actually can pick specific features of the new standard, and write a workaround if the feature is missing. This is often preferred over a wholesale solution, as some compilers will claim to implement C++11, but only offer a subset of the features.

The Stdcxx Wiki hosts a comprehensive matrix for compiler support of C++0x features (if you dare to check for the features yourself).

Unfortunately, more finely-grained checking for features (e.g. individual library functions like std::copy_if) can only be done in the build system of your application (run code with the feature, check if it compiled and produced correct results – autoconf is the tool of choice if taking this route).

Questions:
Answers:

Depending on what you want to achieve, Boost.Config might help you. It does not provide detection of the standard-version, but it provides macros that let you check for support of specific language/compiler-features.

Questions:
Answers:

__cplusplus

In C++0x the macro __cplusplus will be set to a value that differs from (is greater than) the current 199711L.

C++0x FAQ by BS

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Answers:

After a quick google:

__STDC__ and __STDC_VERSION__, see here