Programming Language C - C23 Charter

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2024-05-15 05:00:03

At the WG 14 meeting in Kona, Hawaii, in October, 2015, there was general agreement the committee should start thinking about what was next for a revision of the C Standard. I agreed to draft a revision charter, adapted from those for C99 and C11. As in prior charters, the intention of this charter is to present a statement of principles and a plan of attack. This charter does not identify any technical issues since those are immaterial at this stage.

Although the committee is not required to begin work on revising the current standard, there is much happening that can or does influence C directly. Examples are the evolution of C-like programming languages (C++, Java, and C#), the rising security threat on the Internet, the increased awareness of programming language vulnerabilities, the slowing progress of Moore's law leading to a growing need to exploit increased parallelism and concurrency, and updates to standards in related areas such as floating-point arithmetic. Original Principles Before embarking on a revision of the C Standard, it is useful to reflect on the charter of the original drafting committee, according to the original Rationale Document in the section entitled Purpose, and the versions of the charter that were used for the C99 and C11 revisions.

The work of the Committee was in large part a balancing act. The Committee has tried to improve portability while retaining the definition of certain features of C as machine-dependent. It attempted to incorporate valuable new ideas without disrupting the basic structure and fabric of the language. It tried to develop a clear and consistent language without invalidating existing programs. All of the goals were important and each decision was weighed in the light of sometimes contradictory requirements in an attempt to reach a workable compromise.

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