What is the status on c++11? I know there was some hold up in the past few weeks, is it now safe to start using things like tuple etc.?
Please see https://jira.lsstcorp.org/browse/RFC-91. I expect this to be adopted very shortly (expiration is tomorrow).
Also see https://confluence.lsstcorp.org/display/LDMDG/Developer+Tools+at+NCSA for how to use the new compiler; you do not get it by default on the NCSA machines (although Buildbot and Jenkins do).