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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Essential C++
Author:
Stan Lippman
ISBN:
0 201 48518 4
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
276
Price:
$33-95
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
beginner's c++
Appeared in:
12-3
This compact book is aimed at people who have got some programming knowledge and want to get quickly started with C++ without having to read hundreds of pages. The learning curve might be too steep for complete novices. The book teaches the most important features of the C++ standard language without covering object-oriented design. You should be able to start programming immediately.

The book begins with procedural programming, discusses generic programming, then classes, inheritance, templates and exception handling. This only takes 200 pages, the rest of the book is taken up by answers to the exercises and a list of the generic algorithms. Exercises are included in each chapter, they give the reader some practise. It is useful to have answers at the back of the book, but sometimes the answers use part of the language not yet explained at that point. The reader would need a reference while making the exercises, e.g. to look up STL specifics.

It is a pity that the book has a poor index. For example

static
and
mutable
are not in the index. The book is hard to use as a reference, also because the writing style is narrative. Good advice is sometimes hidden in the text and not highlighted by sections and headers. The chapter on generic programming is useful, to show the starting programmer the power of the available algorithms.

The strongest point of the book is that it is short, correct and reasonably comprehensive.