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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:
C/C++ Programmer's Reference 2ed.
Author:
Herbert Schildt
ISBN:
0 07 212706 6
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill
Pages:
392pp
Price:
$19.99
Reviewer:
Francis Glassborow
Subject:
reference
Appeared in:
12-5
Perhaps I am getting kind in my dotage. I swore to leave this author's work to others to review and critique. I glanced through this book when it arrived on my desk and decided that it might be worth a mildly critical review.

The first problem I have with the book is that the author is attempting to cover both C and C++ in the same book. When I thought a little further I decided that that might not be such a bad thing if it were done properly.

Next, I started to look at critical areas where the languages are different. An obvious candidate for the more knowledgeable is

const
. I looked in the index and followed up all the references. The author never mentions the major differences; the linkage of
const
declared global objects and that
const
values are compile time constants in C++ though not in C.

As another example of the lack of completeness of this book, look at the entry for

virtual
. The author never mentions virtual base classes.

This lack of attention to detail and completeness permeates the whole book. However it is exactly this kind of detail that a reasonably competent programmer needs when s/he looks it up in a reference book.

If there is to be a third edition, the book should be rewritten as a pure reference book. All those tips can go for a start, reference books should not attempt to be tutorials on any aspect of programming. Examples to clarify meaning are fine, but tips and tricks belong elsewhere. Then the author should work through every entry and check that the detail is both there and correct.

As it is, this book is on the right tracks but falls short of what is needed. Getting better but still to weak to be recommended. I will hang onto my copy though because it can jog my memory and I will usually spot the things that it forgets.