Collaborative Online C++ Compiler?

published at 05.11.2016 16:05 by Jens Weller

While doing some brainstorming for possible (youtube) live formats with C++ content, the thought of having a shared online IDE/Compiler came into my mind. Think of Google Docs but for C++. There are various online compilers such as ideone or Matt Godbolts Compiler Explorer, but mostly these are websites where you are able to run code into your own session, without sharing code with others in a live setting. In the "Get started" section at isocpp.org, a list of 6 online compilers exists, but only one of them offers a live sharing feature (rextester).

Previously, I decided to ask my own C++ Network, if they know about such online tools:

Is there a collaborative online compiler, where multiple people are able to edit the code interactively? Like in Google Docs?

— Meeting C++ (@meetingcpp) November 4, 2016

And, as it turs out, there are a few ones, often tools build to do interviews, they usually only offer "C++", and no further information on toolchains, so on many of these tools, this is your best friend of running as hello world:

#include <iostream>

int main() { std::cout << "C++ Version "<< __cplusplus << '\n';}

Unlike the popular online compilers, most of these tools only offer C++11, some do C++14, but often I couldn't find information on the tool chain that was used in the back ground. It helps to try different macros then, such as #define GCC_VERSION (__GNUC__ * 10000 + __GNUC_MINOR__ * 100  + __GNUC_PATCHLEVEL__).

A short list of collaborative online compilers

Toolname C++ Version Compilers Restrictions Chat Comment
rextester C++14

Clang, C++14

GCC 4.9.3 "201300"

VC++ Version 19 (VS2015)

No real visability on who edits what.

Yes Currently one of my favorites
coderpad.io C++14 GCC 5.4.1

Once you tried it, login required.

Seems to be used mostly for interviews

Commercial

no or

notvisible

 
codebunk C++11 GCC 4.8.1

Free Trial, Commercial Plan

Interview tool

Videochat  
Cloud9 C++11 GCC 4.8.4

Free and Commercial

Account required, CC needed for registration

Host has session control, can give guests read and write rights.

Yes You have an actual bash window in to the container.
EDA Playground

C++

(Compiling requires account, so no thanks)

GCC 4.7.2

Unfortunately I could not compile any code in the trial, also did not see information on the C++ Version/Compiler. ? Don't want to create an account on all platforms, just to see/test basic features.
collabedit

Hightlighting only

No compilation supported

so no compilers. Only an online editor yes  
codeanywhere

C++

?

Sign-in-to-try.

You seem to be able to share with others on the same platform folders, files or projects.

maybe

I didn't sign in.

Creating an account just to try the demo is...

Conclusion

There are a few tools which offer this functionality, often though its behind a login to really dive deeper into its functionality. When you invite people, this often means that they also have to create an account, which is something I dislike. Cloud9 seems to offer all features needed in the free version, and has the best support for controlling the online session as far as I could see. rextester seems to be the only online compiler that has a good compiler selection and offers easy sharing of sessions. Some tools seem to have their focus on interviews, which is a market of its own. Hence these tools seemed to be focused on the interview situation.

C++14 is supported by some, C++11 by all I could test, rextester seems to be the only one with Visual C++ support. With C++17 coming to different tool chains already, its nice to know that such tools exist, some even with more recent compiler versions.