10 top-notch libraries for C++ programming

Maria J. Danford

C++ is a typical-intent systems programming language that is now much more than forty a long time outdated, acquiring been intended in 1979. Much from getting rid of steam, C++ nonetheless ranks close to the top of various programming language popularity indexes. Smoothing the path to C++ use is wide […]

C++ is a typical-intent systems programming language that is now much more than forty a long time outdated, acquiring been intended in 1979. Much from getting rid of steam, C++ nonetheless ranks close to the top of various programming language popularity indexes.

Smoothing the path to C++ use is wide assist for the language amongst the makers of IDEs, editors, compilers, test frameworks, code high quality, and other equipment. Program developers also have at their disposal lots of great libraries to help with developing C++ programs. Right here are 10 that C++ developers count on. 

Lively Template Library

From Microsoft, Lively Template Library (ATL) is a set of C++ lessons for developing COM (Frequent Object Model) objects, with assist for COM capabilities this kind of as twin interfaces, regular COM enumerator interfaces, link details, and ActiveX controls. Available with the Visual Studio IDE, ATL can be applied to develop solitary-threaded objects, apartment-product objects, no cost-threaded product objects, or the two no cost-threaded and apartment-product objects.

Asio C++ library

The Asio C++ library is applied for community and small-level I/O programming, offering a regular asynchronous product. Furnishing standard developing blocks for concurrency, C++ networking, and other kinds of I/O, Asio has been applied in programs ranging from smartphone apps and video games to highly interactive web-sites and real-time transaction systems. Tasks making use of Asio consist of the WebSocketPP library and the DDT3 remote debugger for the Lua language. Asio is obtainable as no cost open source less than the Enhance Program License, and supported on Linux, Home windows, MacOS, and FreeBSD.


Cinder is an open source library for “creative coding” in C++. Practical for programs this kind of as audio, computational geometry, graphics, and video, Cinder supports system-native windowing and occasion-handling, together with I/O abstraction, and has a designed-in API for XML and JSON parsing. Developed all-around idiomatic C++ eleven capabilities this kind of as shared_ptr, the library ships with various samples. Cinder supports MacOS, iOS, Linux, Home windows, and Home windows UWP.


Eigen is a C++ template library for linear algebra, including matrices, vectors, numerical solvers, and linked algorithms. All matrix sizes are supported, from tiny, set matrices to arbitrarily substantial, dense matrices. Algorithms are selected for dependability. All regular numeric kinds are supported. For speed, Eigen capabilities expression templates to intelligently eliminate temporaries and allow lazy analysis. Freely obtainable less than the Mozilla Public License two and downloadable from the Eigen job web page, Eigen has been fitted with an API explained by proponents as expressive and cleanse and natural to C++ programmers. The test suite for Eigen has been operate in opposition to lots of compilers to be certain dependability.


FloatX, or Float Prolonged, is a header-only library for small-precision, floating level kind emulation. Whilst natively appropriate with C++ compilers, FloatX can be termed by other languages this kind of as Python or Fortran. Floating level kinds are prolonged outside of the native solitary and double precision kinds. Template kinds are supplied that make it possible for the consumer to choose the variety of bits applied for the exponent as nicely as significant parts of the floating level variety. FloatX is based mostly on the idea of the FlexFloat library for emulating reduced-precision floating kinds, but implements a superset of FlexFloat operation in C and gives C++ wrappers. FloatX emerged from the Open Transprecision Computing initiative. It is obtainable no cost less than the Apache License two.. 


OpenCV, or Open Supply Pc Vision Library, is a laptop or computer eyesight and machine finding out library prepared natively in C++, and obtainable less than a BSD license. OpenCV was designed to give frequent infrastructure for laptop or computer eyesight programs and accelerate the use of machine notion in business merchandise. More than two,five hundred optimized algorithms for experience recognition, item detection, item classification, 3D product extraction, graphic search, and significantly much more, OpenCV has amassed a consumer group of much more than forty seven,000 persons. Available from the OpenCV job web page, the library gives C++, Java, Python, and Matlab interfaces and supports Home windows, Linux, Android, and MacOS. CUDA and OpenCL interfaces are in improvement.

Poco C++ Libraries

Intended to simplify C++ improvement, the Poco (Transportable Factors) C++ Libraries are cross-system C++ libraries for developing Web and community programs to operate on systems ranging from desktops and servers to cell and IoT units. The libraries also can be applied to develop microservices with Rest APIs for machine finding out or facts analytics. The Poco libraries are equivalent in thought to the Java Class Library, Microsoft’s .Internet Framework, or Apple Cocoa.

Developers can use Poco libraries to develop software servers in C++ that converse to SQL databases, Redis, or MongoDB, or to develop software program for IoT units that converse to cloud back again-ends. Among the the capabilities of the libraries are a cache framework, HTML form handling, an FTP shopper for transferring documents, and an HTTP server and shopper. The Poco libraries are obtainable no cost less than the Enhance Program License and downloadable from GitHub. 

Home windows Template Library

Originally from Microsoft, the Home windows Template Library (WTL) is (because 2004) an open source library for developing light-weight Home windows programs and UI parts. Positioned as an substitute to the Microsoft Basis Courses toolkit, WTL extends ATL and gives a set of lessons for controls, dialogs, body windows, and GDI objects.


Wt is a web GUI library in modern C++ that enables developers to develop interactive web UIs with widgets, without having acquiring to generate JavaScript. A server-side solution, Wt does request handling and web page rendering, giving designed-in safety, PDF rendering, a 2d and 3D portray method, an item-relational mapping library, a charting library, and an authentication framework. The main library is open source, giving a hybrid solitary-web page framework that can be deployed on Linux, Unix, or Home windows.

Produced by software program engineering corporation Emweb, Wt is appropriate with HTML5 and HTML4 browsers as nicely as with plain HTML consumer agents. And Wt can combine with third-social gathering JavaScript libraries. With Wt, an software is outlined as a hierarchy of widgets—ranging from generic widgets this kind of as drive buttons to specialised widgets this kind of as an whole blog site widget. The widget tree is rendered as HTML/JavaScript in the browser. Wt can be downloaded from the job webpage. Equally open source and business use conditions are obtainable. 


Yocto/GL is a assortment of tiny C++seventeen libraries for developing physically-based mostly graphics algorithms. It is prepared in a facts-oriented type for ease of improvement, and break up into tiny libraries to make code navigation less difficult. Information is stored in easy structs and accessed with no cost functions or specifically.

Yocto/GL incorporates code from the PCG random variety generator, boost hash_blend, and external libraries from the public domain or that are involved with their possess licenses. The developers of Yocto/GL choose a useful technique instead than an item-oriented a person, favoring no cost functions to course solutions. Features and facts are outlined in sibling namespaces contained in the yocto namespace.

Yocto/GL is produced less than the MIT license and obtainable from GitHub. A C++seventeen compiler is demanded.

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