New answers tagged distributions
You could easily run a compiled app on every distro which is the same architecture if you compile it statically. If you compile it dynamically then you would run into problems such as the one you mentioned (missing libs) or more frequently the version of the libs from other distros would be incompatible.
You should be able to do this in most cases, yes. The only issues I can forsee other than the library issue you mentioned would be distribution-specific file locations, and having that affect your application should be rare indeed.
No, the upgrade won't be automatic, you have to manually replace every instance of wheezy by jessie in your /etc/apt/sources.list. Alternatively, you could replace them with stable and then, the upgrade will be automatic once Jessie is released. Note that I wouldn't recommend the latter if you use unattended-upgrades, because your system may end up being a ...
If the lines in your sources.list say "wheezy", you will stay with Wheezy even when Jessie is released. If you change those lines to say "stable" instead, apt will upgrade you to Jessie when it's released, because "stable" will become an alias for "jessie" instead of "wheezy". (And if you change those lines to say "jessie", you'll upgrade to Jessie now, ...
Almost all PC-targeting distros are going to have a way to install GCC, as you can't compile the Linux kernel without it. But it won't always be installed by default, and even if it is, can be removed by the admin. Example: I don't think it's installed by default on Debian. (Though the installer gives you a wide selection of which packages to install, so ...
Top 50 recent answers are included