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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells
Josuttis is the new undisputed champion. Chapters 2 & 3 alone are worth more than the price of the book. And it gets better as you go.
Yes, some of the examples involve simple objects. However, from the way the author develops the subject matter, extending the examples to more complex, dynamic objects becomes a simple task.
This is probably the only book you'll ever need on STL and the C++ Standard Library extensions.
STL and More..., December 24, 2000
Reviewer: James Boer (see more about me) from Kirkland, WA United States
Mr. Josuttis offers in this book an amazingly comprehensive guide to the often bewildering C++ standard library. I originally purchased this book looking for more STL information, and I was certainly not disappointed in that respect. STL descriptions account for nearly half of the book volume. However, as non-STL questions arose, I found myself digging into this book time and time again (questions about auto_ptr, string class, allocators, etc).
If you're a C++ programmer and do not already own a current (circa 1999 or later) library reference, do yourself and your code a favor and grab a copy of this book. C++ is an extremely scalable language. It's easy to use only knowing a small subset of the language and library features. Having a reference such as this one ensures that you'll be less likely to accidentally duplicate work that has already been done for you in the standard library.
As far as book organization goes, I'd say that the book does lean more towards "reference" rather than "tutorial", but I never believe a book that claims to be both anyhow. Anyone interested in a pure tutorial should buy a book specifically written with that in mind. For more experienced programmers not needing quite as much hand holding, however, the book does work as advertised.
Overall, I can't really recommend this book more enthusiastically.
alternative to other C++ books., September 30, 2000
Reviewer: Robert Gamble (see more about me) from Wilmington, NC USA
I'll start by saying that I probably would not have understood this book as well as I have, if I had not already been teaching myself C++ through other forums (primers and online). The thing that most of these other forums have in common is that they start with the basics and build up slowly to the more abstract concepts. The problems come during the switchovers (char* to string, procedural programming to object oriented, pointers to iterators, linked lists to containers, etc). In almost all cases you learn the more basic, and paradoxically more difficult concepts first. Then you have to 'unlearn what you have learned' in order to use the more advanced concepts.
So what's different about this book? It teaches a mix of syntax and 'advanced' concepts right from the beginning. You learn the basics of loops and choice statements while using the Standard Library. You also use them in specific examples that have real world uses (the grading program in the first few chapters for example). The Standard Library is _easy_ compared to arrays, char*, rolling your own linked list, using pointers, etc. Since it takes far less time to learn, you can be writing useful programs very quickly. _Then_ the authors go on to describe some of the more 'basic' concepts, usually in terms of how they implement some of the ideas behind the Standard Library. Since you have that understanding already, things like pointers become easier not only to learn, but to understand how they can be used.
I have one complaint about the book, and that's with the grading program, specifically how it appears in Chapter 4. As written, it's very confusing to actually enter data to get it to run correctly. A minor complaint though, considering how many times I thought to myself 'Aha! This is what I could use to solve this problem I've been having.' Or 'Aha! So this is what those other books were trying to say.'
In a nutshell, it's a refreshing look at C++
and if not able to stand on its own, is a must have supplement
for anyone learning or using the language. At the very least,
it's made me question the seeming SOP of giving the Standard
Library one or two chapters and calling fundamentally harder
concepts 'basic' and the concepts that make programming in C++
easier being considered 'advanced'.
The best "learning C++" book yet., November 22, 2000
Reviewer: james_dennett (see more about me) from Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom
I picked up a copy of "Accelerated C++" to see what the fuss was about, and I'll add my voice to those who have praised this book. It is the first book I've seen to introduce C++ coding in a high-level manner along with some notion of invariants, and reminded me in some ways of the text which taught me Modula-2 a decade ago (Sale's "Modula-2: Disciple and Design", as if it matters). I think/hope that this book will help to improve the average quality of [C++] programming.
If you've been put off learning C++ because you think that it's just a low-level language, this book might be your reason to try again: it shows how to use C++ in a high-level style, and more importantly it reminds us how to _think_ in a high-level style and translate that directly to code.
-- James Dennett <email@example.com>
C++ Programmer's Guide to the Standard Template Library by Mark Nelson
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