REVIEW - C++ from the Ground Up


C++ from the Ground Up


Herbert Schildt



McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media (1998)




Mark Radford


December 1998



When Francis originally reviewed this book, he said he couldn't face another book by Schildt and asked if anyone else would like to review it. Having heard much bad press about this author, but being unfamiliar with his work, I was tempted to see what the fuss was about.

The front cover boasts 'best selling programming author with over 2 million books sold', which leads me to despair. I haven't seen his other books but this one will not produce decent C++ programmers! It joins the abundance of C++ books of a kind, which sadly now take up too much space on the shelves of our bookshops; that is, the kind that present, but do not teach, the C++ language. For example, the book explains what multiple inheritance is, without explaining why one might want to use this feature, or how to use it correctly. Another example is that of abstract base classes. There is no explanation of how these are necessary in implementing polymorphism. The description of how to write assignment operators is especially worrying; there is no mention of self-assignment, or how to handle the possibility of an exception being thrown.

No doubt this book will sell many copies and be-come yet another triumph for marketing over quality.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.