Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does C++ have an "official" language specification document, similar to the Sun/Oracle:

share|improve this question
That's not really hard to find, everything you need is on the Wikipedia article on C++. – Yannis Apr 7 '12 at 3:08
The Oracle Java Spec contains much more detail than the C++ wikipedia article? Its 600 pages long and is THE spec.... – user997112 Apr 7 '12 at 3:14
What? Did you bother to follow the link? It explains C++ standardization and where to find the actual specification, obviously I didn't mean that the Wikipedia article is the specification... – Yannis Apr 7 '12 at 3:15
Yes i did. The way you worded "everything you need" sounded like you were suggesting the article was the spec! – user997112 Apr 7 '12 at 13:43
up vote 9 down vote accepted

The C++ specification can be bought from ISO for the equivalent around $300 US. The BSI imprinted version is a bit more pricey -- around $750US if memory serves.

Fortunately, the ANSI has priced their version a bit more reasonably -- $30US.

While the truly official version isn't free, if you want something really close that is free, the standard committee's web site has a draft from shortly before standardization, and another from just after, with a few typos fixed and such.

share|improve this answer

I think the closest to official are the ISO/IEC 14882 standards (warning: paywall, you will not be able to download the standard without a subscription).

ISO/IEC 14882:2011 specifies requirements for implementations of the C++ programming language. The first such requirement is that they implement the language, and so ISO/IEC 14882:2011 also defines C++. Other requirements and relaxations of the first requirement appear at various places within ISO/IEC 14882:2011.

However, as stated in a comment below, the drafts of those standards are available for free, such as here.

share|improve this answer
I found this for free: – user997112 Apr 7 '12 at 13:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.