REVIEW - C++ In a Nutshell - A Desktop Quick Reference


C++ In a Nutshell

A Desktop Quick Reference


Ray Lischner


O'Reilly (2003)




Francis Glassborow


August 2003



This is by far the best book that O'Reilly have produced on C++ (but then neither I nor the other ACCU reviewed by Nico Josuttis) however if I had to travel away from home and needed to keep the weight down but still have a good memory jogger with me, this is a book that I would seriously consider.

If you want to check the parameters of a standard function, remind yourself about the public members of an STL container or check if something is part of Standard C++ then this book could be just what you want to take with you.

This is a reference book through and through covering all aspects of the core language and library. I have no doubt that I could find a few typos and errors if I really put my mind to it, but that would be true of just about any book ever published. However most of the problems would seem to be with either lack of detail or poor quality in the index. Let me give you a single example of this. I looked up virtual destructor in the index. I was referred to page 155 where all I found was a mention that the implicit destructor of a derived class would be virtual if the base class destructor were virtual. As far as the index was concerned, that was it. Hunting around turned up a section entitled Polymorphic Constructors and Destructors that had a little more detail but gave an indeterminate reference to something earlier. Now such back references are fine in books designed for reading but they are not adequate in a reference book where a page number should always be given.

This book, however, gets much closer to the standards on which O'Reilly have built their reputation, it is a good reference and good value for money. Perhaps they can persuade the author to work harder at cross referencing for the next edition.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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