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

Lyn 1.7.2 - Lightweight image browser an...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6.7beta02 - GUI for OpenVP...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
jAlbum Pro 13.4 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
calibre 2.65.1 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
jAlbum 13.4 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results - Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Backblaze 4.2.0.966 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Backblaze 4.2.0.966 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6.7beta02 - GUI for OpenVP...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
calibre 2.65.1 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
jAlbum Pro 13.4 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more

Clean Text (Productivity)
Clean Text 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars (Games)
Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: *** SPECIAL LAUNCH SALE: $2.99 (25% off) *** "A mesmerizing and unexpectedly emotional journey." -- Los... | Read more »
How to get four NFL superstars for your...
Even though you're probably well on your way to building a top notch squad for the new season in Madden NFL Mobile, let's say you could beef it up by adding Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Von Miller, and Todd Gurley to your roster. That's... | Read more »
Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!...
Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!! – Multiplayer Sports Game Starring Your Favorite Characters 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Become a soccer superstar with your... | Read more »
NFL Huddle: What's new in Topps NFL...
Can you smell that? It's the scent of pigskin in the air, which either means that cliches be damned, pigs are flying in your neck of the woods, or the new NFL season is right around the corner. [Read more] | Read more »
FarmVille: Tropic Escape tips, tricks, a...
Maybe farming is passé in mobile games now. Ah, but farming -- and doing a lot of a other things too -- in an island paradise might be a little different. At least you can work on your tan and sip some pina coladas while tending to your crops. [... | Read more »
Become the King of Avalon in FunPlus’ la...
King Arthur is dead. Considering the legend dates back to the 5th century, it would be surprising if he wasn’t. But in the context of real-time MMO game King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare, Arthur’s death plunges the kingdom into chaos. Evil sorceress... | Read more »
Nightgate (Games)
Nightgate 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** Launch Sale: 25% OFF for a limited time! *** In the year 2398, after a great war, a network of intelligent computers known as... | Read more »
3 best fantasy football apps to get you...
Last season didn't go the way you wanted it to in fantasy football. You were super happy following your drafts or auctions, convinced you had outsmarted everyone. You were all set to hustle on the waiver wire, work out some sweet trades, and make... | Read more »
Pokemon GO update: Take me to your leade...
The Team Leaders in Pokemon GO have had it pretty easy up until now. They show up when players reach level 5, make their cases for joining their respective teams, and that's pretty much it. Light work, as Floyd Mayweather might say. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Global Tablet Shipments Projected to Increase...
Digitimes’ Jim Hsiao reports that global tablet shipments will increase by 16.3 percent sequentially to reach nearly 47 million units in 2016′s third quarter, but that volume will still be down over... Read more
Apple’s 2016 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $961...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $961.63 including free shipping. Their price is $138 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
BookBook Releases SurfacePad, BookBook &...
BookBook has released three new covers just for iPad Pro: SurfacePad, BookBook and BookBook Rutledge Edition. BookBook for iPad Pro is a gorgeous leather case reminiscent of a vintage sketchbook.... Read more
Clean Text 1.0 for iOS Reduces Text Cleanup a...
Apimac today announced availability of Clean Text for iOS, a tool for webmasters, graphic designers, developers and magazine editors to reduce text cleanup and editing time, and also for any iPhone... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $220 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1899 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 and 2015 13″ MacBook Airs now available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad mini 2s available for...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad mini 2s for up to $80 off the cost of new minis. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 16GB iPad mini 2 WiFi: $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 51218534 Pleasant Hill, California, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions Victor,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Hardware Design Validation Engineer - *Apple...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
*Apple* /Mac Support Engineer - GFI Digital,...
FI Digital, Inc. is currently seeking candidates for a full time Apple Support Engineer to add to our Maryland Heights, Missouri IT team. Candidates must be dynamic Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
Apple Solutions ConsultantJob Number: 51218534Pleasant Hill, California, United StatesPosted: Aug. 18, 2016Weekly Hours: 40.00Job SummaryAs an Apple Solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.