REVIEW - The Java/C++ Cross-reference Handbook


The Java/C++ Cross-reference Handbook


Frederick F. Chew



Prentice Hall (1998)




Francis Glassborow


April 1999



In the meantime if you work in a mixed Java/C++ environment having this book to hand would fairly quickly pay for the cost of purchase.

One of the growing problems is programmers who have learnt their programming skills in Java (an increasing number of academic programming courses are based on Java) and then have to tackle real world C++. They know how they would code in Java but how to get the same functionality in C++?

Sometimes the answer is that you cannot. For example C++ provides nothing remotely akin to Java's

keyword. (Actually I think C++ might benefit from introducing that keyword. It would be interesting to have a compiler provide it as an extension.)

At other times you can provide the same behaviour but at the cost of extra work or doing it differently. A good example is Java's == operator which is defined for all types (I am not happy that the definition is different for built-in types and user defined ones but...). C++ only defines this for built-in types and between pointers (of the same type) and leaves programmers to define it (or not) for their own types.

By describing many of the features of Java that either do not exist in C++ or are provided differently this book provides a considerable service to Java programmers needing to write some C++. Of course the answer in some cases is rather like replying to a request for directions with 'I wouldn't start from here if I wanted to go there'.

The book is organised from a Java perspective, and I suspect you would need a book ten times the size to go the other way. None-the-less a C++ programmer will reap benefit from browsing this book as they would begin to better appreciate the positive as well as the negative aspects of Java.

Next I would like to see the author tackle idiomatic usage. In the meantime if you work in a mixed Java/C++ environment having this book to hand would fairly quickly pay for the cost of purchase (this is the kind of reference that your employer should be providing).

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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