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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 1922 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Visual C++ 2 Developer's Guide
Naba Barkakati
0 672 30663 8
Michael Minihane
microsoft; advanced c++
Appeared in:
This book is a second edition, published in 1995. VC4 was released in late 1995 and probably reduced the potential market for this book greatly. When VC5 was released this book was still on the list awaiting review!

The title of the book is accurate, it is a guide (although the back cover gets a bit carried away and makes extravagant claims that the book will transform its reader into an expert!) Apart from C and C++, the book covers MFC 3 Windows programming and advanced topics such as DDE, OLE, ODBC and sockets programming. The book is aimed at intermediate to advanced C programmers and aims to introduce C++, OOP and the Microsoft specific features of MFC and Windows programming.

The author has a very clear presentation style and topics are always placed in context, discussed at a general level and then covered step by step for implementation. The book is split into logical sections and progresses from the VC2 environment through ANSI C, OOP, C++, Windows programming, advanced Windows programming and extending VC2 before finishing with a useful bibliography. This allows the reader to start the book from their level of experience; e.g. someone familiar with OOP and C++ could start reading from the Windows programming section onwards.

The C presentation makes clear which features are ANSI C and which, such as predefined global variables and pragmas, are Microsoft specific. However, the presentation is only an overview and advanced topics, such as function pointers, aren't mentioned. The C++ presentation is much more detailed, but again advanced topics get little coverage, e.g. templates are covered in 3 pages, including code examples.

The author has produced a useful book, which is clear and makes good use of the 1000 pages, given the range of material covered. If you want a single source introduction to the topics covered then this book is a good place to start, which can also serve as a reference since the index is so extensive. However, advanced use of the topics covered will probably require further reading outside of the book. Obviously, for up to date C++ or VC coverage you'll need to look elsewhere.