12 top-notch libraries for C++ programming

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C++ is a general-purpose systems programming language that’s now greater than 40 years previous, having been designed in 1979. Removed from shedding steam, C++ nonetheless ranks close to the highest of a number of programming language popularity indexes.

Smoothing the trail to C++ utilization is broad assist for the language among the many makers of IDEs, editors, compilers, check frameworks, code high quality, and different instruments. Software program builders even have at their disposal many wonderful libraries to help with constructing C++ functions. Listed here are 12 that C++ builders depend on. 

Energetic Template Library

From Microsoft, Energetic Template Library (ATL) is a set of C++ lessons for constructing COM (Frequent Object Mannequin) objects, with assist for COM options comparable to twin interfaces, customary COM enumerator interfaces, connection factors, and ActiveX controls. Accessible with the Visual Studio IDE, ATL can be utilized to construct single-threaded objects, apartment-model objects, free-threaded mannequin objects, or each free-threaded and apartment-model objects.

Asio C++ library

The Asio C++ library is used for community and low-level I/O programming, providing a constant asynchronous mannequin. Offering primary constructing blocks for concurrency, C++ networking, and different sorts of I/O, Asio has been utilized in functions starting from smartphone apps and video games to extremely interactive web sites and real-time transaction techniques. Initiatives utilizing Asio embody the WebSocketPP library and the DDT3 remote debugger for the Lua language. Asio is obtainable as free open supply beneath the Enhance Software program License, and supported on Linux, Home windows, MacOS, and FreeBSD.


Enhance supplies free, peer-reviewed moveable C++ supply libraries, accessible from boost.org, that work with the C++ customary library. Enhance libraries are supposed for use throughout a spectrum of functions. Among the many assortment are libraries for JSON, math, multi-index, file system, and geometry. Enhance works on most fashionable working techniques together with Linux, Unix, and Home windows. Linux and Unix distributions comparable to Debian, Fedora, and NetBSD already embody pre-built Enhance packages.


Cinder is an open supply library for “inventive coding” in C++. Helpful for functions comparable to audio, computational geometry, graphics, and video, Cinder helps platform-native windowing and event-handling, together with I/O abstraction, and has a built-in API for XML and JSON parsing. Designed round idiomatic C++ 11 options comparable to shared_ptr, the library ships with quite a few samples. Cinder helps MacOS, iOS, Linux, Home windows, and Home windows UWP.


Eigen is a C++ template library for linear algebra, together with matrices, vectors, numerical solvers, and associated algorithms. All matrix sizes are supported, from small, mounted matrices to arbitrarily giant, dense matrices. Algorithms are chosen for reliability. All customary numeric varieties are supported. For pace, Eigen options expression templates to intelligently take away temporaries and allow lazy evaluation. Freely out there beneath the Mozilla Public License 2 and downloadable from the Eigen project page, Eigen has been fitted with an API described by proponents as expressive and clear and pure to C++ programmers. The check suite for Eigen has been run towards many compilers to make sure reliability.


FloatX, or Float eXtended, is a header-only library for low-precision, floating level sort emulation. Whereas natively appropriate with C++ compilers, FloatX could be referred to as by different languages comparable to Python or Fortran. Floating level varieties are prolonged past the native single and double precision varieties. Template varieties are supplied that permit the person to pick out the variety of bits used for the exponent in addition to important components of the floating level quantity. FloatX is predicated on the concept of the FlexFloat library for emulating reduced-precision floating varieties, however implements a superset of FlexFloat performance in C and supplies C++ wrappers. FloatX emerged from the Open Transprecision Computing initiative. It’s out there free beneath the Apache License 2.0. 


OpenCV, or Open Supply Pc Imaginative and prescient Library, is a pc imaginative and prescient and machine studying library written natively in C++, and out there beneath an Apache 2 license. OpenCV was constructed to supply frequent infrastructure for laptop imaginative and prescient functions and speed up the usage of machine notion in industrial merchandise. Greater than 2,500 optimized algorithms for face recognition, object detection, object classification, 3D mannequin extraction, picture search, and rather more, OpenCV has amassed a person group of greater than 47,000 individuals. Accessible from the OpenCV project website, the library supplies C++, Java, Python, and Matlab interfaces and helps Home windows, Linux, Android, and MacOS. CUDA and OpenCL interfaces are in improvement.

Poco C++ Libraries

Supposed to simplify C++ improvement, the Poco (Portable Components) C++ Libraries are cross-platform C++ libraries for constructing Web and community functions to run on techniques starting from desktops and servers to cellular and IoT units. The libraries additionally can be utilized to construct microservices with REST APIs for machine studying or information analytics. The Poco libraries are comparable in idea to the Java Class Library, Microsoft’s .NET Framework, or Apple Cocoa.

Builders can use Poco libraries to construct software servers in C++ that speak to SQL databases, Redis, or MongoDB, or to construct software program for IoT units that speak to cloud back-ends. Among the many options of the libraries are a cache framework, HTML type dealing with, an FTP consumer for transferring recordsdata, and an HTTP server and consumer. The Poco libraries can be found free beneath the Enhance Software program License and downloadable from GitHub


Velox is an embeddable, vectorized execution library for OLAP techniques. The library is meant to optimize information processing techniques and question engines. The venture was begun as an inner engineering venture at Fb in 2020 after which open sourced. In frequent utilization situations, Velox takes a totally optimized question plan as enter and performs the described computation. Elements embody a high-level typing system, a columnar reminiscence module, perform packages, and community serializers. Velox is available on GitHub within the Fb Incubator repo.

Home windows Template Library

Initially from Microsoft, the Windows Template Library (WTL) is (since 2004) an open supply library for constructing light-weight Home windows functions and UI elements. Positioned as an alternative choice to the Microsoft Basis Lessons toolkit, WTL extends ATL and supplies a set of lessons for controls, dialogs, body home windows, and GDI objects.


Wt is an internet GUI library in fashionable C++ that permits builders to construct interactive net UIs with widgets, with out having to put in writing JavaScript. A server-side answer, Wt does request dealing with and web page rendering, offering built-in safety, PDF rendering, a 2D and 3D portray system, an object-relational mapping library, a charting library, and an authentication framework. The core library is open supply, offering a hybrid single-page framework that may be deployed on Linux, Unix, or Home windows.

Developed by software program engineering firm Emweb, Wt is appropriate with HTML5 and HTML4 browsers in addition to with plain HTML person brokers. And Wt can combine with third-party JavaScript libraries. With Wt, an software is outlined as a hierarchy of widgets—starting from generic widgets comparable to push buttons to specialised widgets comparable to a complete weblog widget. The widget tree is rendered as HTML/JavaScript within the browser. Wt can be downloaded from the project webpage. Each open supply and industrial utilization phrases can be found. 


Yocto/GL is a group of small C++17 libraries for constructing physically-based graphics algorithms. It’s written in a data-oriented type for ease of improvement, and break up into small libraries to make code navigation simpler. Knowledge is saved in easy structs and accessed with free features or straight.

Yocto/GL consists of code from the PCG random quantity generator, enhance hash_combine, and exterior libraries from the general public area or which might be included with their very own licenses. The builders of Yocto/GL choose a purposeful method reasonably than an object-oriented one, favoring free features to class strategies. Capabilities and information are outlined in sibling namespaces contained within the yocto namespace.

Yocto/GL is launched beneath the MIT license and out there from GitHub. A C++17 compiler is required.

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