TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Cplusplus Programming Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 12
Column Tag: Programmer's Bookshelf

The C++ Programming Language

By Paul E. Sevinç, Switzerland

Third Edition and Special Edition

A couple of months ago, Addison-Wesley published a special edition of the third edition of Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Programming Language [1, 2]. The special edition features two new appendices that my copy of the third edition (9th printing) does not contain. However, both appendices are freely available from Bjarne Stroustrup's home page [3]. And except for minor differences that exist between any two printings (cf. erratas [3]), the contents of both editions are identical.

The book teaches Standard C++ and the C++ Standard Library, and discusses programming techniques supported by C++. In my experience, it also serves well as a reference manual.

The four main parts of the book—Basic Facilities, Abstraction Mechanisms, The Standard Library, and Design Using C++ — are preceded by an introductory part, Introductory Material. All the chapters contain a section called Advice where in other books one would find a summary. With the exception of the first two chapters of the last part, all the chapters in the main parts end with exercise sections.

The advice sections just contain a list of tips (a few up to two dozen). Examples are "Use 0 rather than NULL" [1, p. 104] or "Avoid type fields" [1, p. 324]. Taken out of context, they appear to be trivial at best, but I find them to be quite valuable both while learning C++ and in practice.

Introductory Material

The introduction consists of three chapters.

The first chapter is mostly non-technical and gives an overview of the book, recaps C++'s history, etc. Even though it gives the impression of being unimportant, I highly recommend to carefully read this chapter. It contains very interesting background material on C++.

The second and third chapter give an overview of the language and the standard library, respectively. What is quickly explained in these two chapters is explained in (much) more detail in later chapters. Readers new to C++ will most certainly not understand everything, but that is not necessary. However, who thinks of herself or himself as a C++ programmer can use these chapters as a refresher course on the one hand and as a fitness test on the other hand.

Basic Facilities

The six chapters of part I describe the language constructs that support procedural and modular programming. These two paradigms are briefly explained in chapter 2 only. Therefore, the reader shoud at least be familiar with procedural programming and the principle of information hiding.

Chapter 4 presents the built-in types as well as enumerations, declarations, and synonyms for types (typedefs). Chapter 5 treats pointers and references, arrays, and structures (records). Chapter 6 discusses expressions, statements, and comments. Chapter 7 focuses on functions, but contains some information on macros as well. Chapter 8 shows how C++ programs can be modularized with the help of namespaces and introduces exception handling. Chapter 9, finally, is about organizing C++ programs into files.

All the chapters are rather terse with mostly tiny code examples. (A notable exception is the desk-calculator example in the first section of the sixth chapter.) Since the objective is to introduce language features, and not to teach how to program, I do not think that this is a problem. On the contrary, readers familiar with C-like syntax will appreciate Stroustrup's style of quickly getting to the point. Others should not have any problems, either, even though they might need to read a section more than once in order to familiarize with the C++ syntax.

Abstraction Mechanisms

The six chapters of part II describe the language constructs that support abstract data types (ADTs), object-oriented programming (OOP), and generic programming.

Chapter 10 explains how ADTs can be defined that in their "look-and-feel" do not differ from built-in types. Chapter 11 complements chapter 10 by introducing operator overloading as well as friend functions and conversion operators. Both chapters lay the foundation of the rest of the book, in particular of chapters 12 and 15 that treat C++'s support for OOP and also introduce the OOP vocabulary. Chapter 13 and chapter 14 cover templates and exception handling, respectively.

These chapters are less terse, and the code examples are bigger as well. Readers with experience in OOP will again be happy with the pace. However, I am afraid that many OOP novices will need to look for a more gentle introduction to OOP.

The Standard Library

The seven chapters of part III present the standard library. Unlike the other four parts, I have not re-read this part for this review. (I have read the book [albeit the 1st printing] in its entirety about three years ago and have used it as a reference manual since then.)

But I remember that I had no difficulty to understand the organization and semantics of the library. Furthermore, whenever I look for a certain stream or container, I quickly find it and am able to put it to good use in my code.

Design Using C++

The three chapters of part IV, Development and Design, Design and Programming, and Roles of Classes, round off the book.

This part cannot be a replacement for a good software-engineering book on, for instance, modeling, patterns, or component orientation. Nevertheless, Stroustrup's unique relation to C++ and his many years of experience as a software developer provided him with more than enough valuable material and insights to share with the readers. In my opinion, junior developers will profit most from this part, but it is definitely of interest to senior developers as well.

Conclusion

In the course of the last five years, I have read quite a few books in the field of computer science & engineering. Naturally, I encountered bad, good, and also some very good ones.

Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Programming Language is one of those very good books. It is crammed with useful information; to such an extent that — at least in the beginning — one learns more about programming in general and about C++ in particular every time one re-reads a section or a chapter.

To cut a long story short, The C++ Programming Language is not only a must-read, it is a must-have for every serious C++ programmer.

References

  • [1] B. Stroustrup. The C++ Programming Language. Addison-Wesley, Reading (Massachusetts), 3rd edition 1997.
  • [2] B. Stroustrup. The C++ Programming Language. Addison-Wesley, Reading (Massachusetts), special edition 2000.
  • [3] B. Stroustrup. Bjarne Stroustrup. Home Page
    Located at <http://www.research.att.com/~bs/>.

Paul E. Sevinç became the 43rd president of the United States after Florida wasn't able to make up its mind. You can reach him at paul.sevinc@ubilab.org.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Vivaldi 1.7.735.46 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
HandBrake 1.0.3 - Versatile video encode...
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. Features Supported Sources VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (unencrypted... Read more
Slack 2.5.1 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 2.5.1: New The way we load teams you don't view often has been... Read more
BBEdit 11.6.4 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
BBEdit 11.6.4 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.12 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music Library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Tinderbox 7.0.1 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more
FotoMagico 5.4 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Direct Mail 4.3.9 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for OS X. It lets you create and send great looking email campaigns. Start your newsletter by selecting from a gallery... Read more
Tinderbox 7.0.1 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more

The best sales on the App Store this wee...
The App Store has quite an exciting lineup of discount games this week that range across a variety of genres. It's a great opportunity to catch up on some of the premium games you may have been holding off on -- and some you can even grab for free... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
Ah, here we are again at the close of another busy week. Don't rest too easy, though. We had a lot of great new releases in mobile games this week, and now you're going to have to spend all weekend playing them. That shouldn't be too much of a... | Read more »
Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch Guide: How to...
| Read more »
Rabbids Crazy Rush Guide: How to unlock...
The Rabbids are back in a new endless running adventure, Rabbids Crazy Rush. It's more ridiculous cartoon craziness as you help the little furballs gather enough fuel (soda) to get to the moon. Sure, it's a silly idea, but everyone has dreams --... | Read more »
Tavern Guardians (Games)
Tavern Guardians 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Tavern Guardians is a Hack-and-Slash action game played in the style of a match-three. You can experience high pace action... | Read more »
Slay your way to glory in idle RPG Endle...
It’s a golden age for idle games on the mobile market, and those addictive little clickers have a new best friend. South Korean developer Ekkorr released Endless Frontier last year, and players have been idling away the hours in the company of its... | Read more »
Tiny Striker: World Football Guide - How...
| Read more »
Good news everyone! Futurama: Worlds of...
Futurama is finding a new home on mobile in TinyCo and Fox Interactive's new game, Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow. They're really doing it up, bringing on board Futurama creator Matt Groening along with the original cast and writers. TinyCo wants... | Read more »
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL (Games)
MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ENDLESS UPGRADES. CONSTANT DANGER. ANCIENT WISDOM. BOUNCY BALLS. Launch Sale, 40% OFF for a very limited time!!! MUL.... | Read more »
Dungeon Rushers (Games)
Dungeon Rushers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon Rushers is a 2D tactical RPG combining dungeon crawler’s gameplay and turn based fights. Manage your team, loot dusty... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $2...
Newegg has the 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook (sku MLH82LL/A) on sale for $1349.99 including free shipping. Their price is $250 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model.... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSR...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL/A): $899 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/... Read more
9-inch 32GB Silver iPad Pro on sale for $549,...
B&H Photo has the 9.7″ 32GB Silver Apple iPad Pro on sale for $549 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off standard MSRP for this model... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz Apple MacBook Pros on sale for...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $1150, $1...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1149 $150 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
Apple Park Opens to Employees in April With T...
Apple has announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April. The process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six... Read more
Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunicati...
A new education and advocacy group focused on cell phone and wireless risks, Manhattan Neighbors for Safer Telecommunications, launched today at http://www.ManhattanNeighbors.org. Manhattan... Read more
Portable Dual DisplayPort Monitor Dock Enable...
IOGEAR has announced the launch of its USB-C Dual DisplayPort Monitor Portable Dock (GUC3CMST). The dock enables users to easily connect two DisplayPort monitors to a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 laptop to... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Wireless Lead - T-ROC - The Retail O...
…of knowledge in wireless sales and activations to the Beautiful and NEW APPLE Experiencestore within MACYS. THIS role, APPLE Wireless Lead, isbrandnewas MACYS Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Chicago...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.