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At BUILD in Redmond today, Microsoft announced its plans to improve C++ standards conformance in its Visual Studio development environment, and talked about ways in which C++ would become a better, regularly updated, modern programming language. Microsoft developer and C++ standard committee chair Herb Sutter introduced work being done by the C++ community to make the language better, and also discussed the work being done by Microsoft to make its own compiler better.

C++, the systems programming language, is one of the most important programming languages in the world. It's used to build important system infrastructure (operating system kernels tend still to be C, but the systems built on those kernels are often C++), and one of the first choices for development of fast, efficient software.

It's also emerging from a dark period in its history. The first version of the standard was delivered in 1998. The next didn't get finished until early 2011, after a painful and drawn-out process that saw the committee going down blind alleys and suffering political infighting. C++ has also suffered from being more than a little uncool; safe environments like Java, .NET, Python, Ruby, Node.js and more have all won considerable mindshare, and have become the go-to tools for a large class of applications, taking advantage of C++'s 13-year failure to add necessary, modern features in a timely manner.

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Stack Exchange

This Q&A is part of a weekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 80+ Q&A sites.

Matthew Patrick Cashatt asks:

I am an independent contractor and, as such, I interview 3-4 times a year for new gigs. I am in the midst of that cycle now and got turned down for an opportunity even though I felt like the interview went well. The same thing has happened to me a couple of times this year.

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Facebook is liberating a large collection of libraries that it uses internally for C++ development. The code is available from a public GitHub repository where it is distributed as open source under the permissive Apache Software License.

The assortment of frameworks is collectively called Folly, the Facebook Open Source Library. Its individual components support a diverse spectrum of capabilities, ranging from general-purpose programming functionality to more specialized pieces that are designed to help developers wring extra performance out of complex applications.

Among many other things, the Folly libraries simplify concurrency, string formatting, JSON manipulation, benchmarking, and iterating over collections. They also offer optimized drop-in replacements for several C++ standard library classes, including std::string.

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