REVIEW - Migrating from Pascal to C++

Title:

Migrating from Pascal to C++

Author:

Susan M. Merritt

ISBN:

0387947302

Publisher:

Springer (1997)

Pages:

565pp

Reviewer:

Steve Dicks

Reviewed:

December 1998

Rating:

★☆☆☆☆

This book tries to fill a much-needed gap in the marketplace - a transition between the 'academic' language Pascal to the 'industry standard' C++. However the C++ was out-of-date when the book was published in 1996 - there is no mention of exceptions, the STL, templates are relegated to the last 50 pages and

bool
is explicitly written off with 'there is no equivalent to the Pascal Boolean type'. This is then made worse by an example program that uses
bool
as a variable name, something guaranteed to confuse a beginner using a modern compiler.

In places the book is technically inconsistent; using non-

const
references in copy constructor arguments, using the phrase memberwise bitwise copying to describe how the default copy constructor operates. The subject of accessors and modifiers is covered and an example is given to show how a new implementation can 'fake' the existence of an attribute via its accessor modifier pair. However nowhere does it attempt to describe what is going on; this book will generate 'better C' rather thanOO C++ programmers. Having been shown the syntax for
public
data, it would have been useful to be reminded of the pitfalls associated with such entities. It also contains one or two glib statements, such as that object passing by value and by
const
reference are 'equivalent'. The last 200 pages are taken up with exercises and answers to odd-numbered ones; excessive for a 500-page book.

Overall somewhere between disappointing and dangerous - badly out-of-date and not enough handholding through the difficult areas of C++ to be worthwhile. Not recommended.


Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.