Update to High Integrity C++ coding standard (HIC++)

October 07, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
HIC++, one of the longest-established coding standards for C++, marks its 10th anniversary with a major update, and extends its scope to cover C++11 and beyond.

PRQA | Programming Research, supplier of static analysis tools, has published Version 4.0 of the High Integrity C++ Coding Standard (HIC++), which provides coding rules and best practices to help development teams to produce high quality C++ code.

The new HIC++ Version 4.0 consolidates or retires a number of original rules and adds many more related to C++11 features, demonstrating its ongoing relevance to modern C++ coding best practice. Key enhancements include:

Overall consolidation of rules to a more manageable size – down from 202 to 155, which are categorised using relevant clauses and sub-clauses from the text of the language standard (ISO C++ 2011) for easy navigation and cross reference,

61 new rules added, mostly related to C++11 updates, (lambdas, rvalue references, concurrency enhancements), but also covering other best practices,

80 rules have been retired and 44 have been merged down to 16,

All rules receive improved explanations including compliant and non-compliant code examples.

HIC++ was first published ten years ago (3rd October 2003), and pooled the best practice guidelines available at the time, along with language advice from PRQA’s own C++ experts. The longevity and ongoing popularity of HIC++ is evidenced by Chris Rommel, Vice President, M2M Embedded Technology at VDC, who stated, “The growing importance of coding standards has been one of the most significant trends impacting the test tool space over the past several years, and HIC++ is one of the most widely adopted.”

“We are very proud of the fact that the development community has embraced HIC++ and recognize this as a source of coding best practices for C++ applications” stated PRQA’s CTO, Fergus Bolger, “More than 24,000 copies have been downloaded over the past decade.”

The new HIC++ coding standard is now available at www.codingstandard.com, in addition to a whitepaper by the authors, summarizing the rationale behind V4.0, the changes from the previous version and how HIC++ fits with other key C++ coding