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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:
Data Structures&Algorithms with OO Design Patterns in C++
Author:
Bruno Preiss
ISBN:
0 471 24134 2
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
660pp
Price:
£23-50
Reviewer:
Mark Radford
Subject:
data structures; object oriented
Appeared in:
11-4
The copyright date on the book is 1999, so how the author can write over 600 pages without mentioning the STL is completely beyond me. Instead, the author presents his own container designs, attempting an alternative, object- oriented approach. The design comes across as one originally done with a different language (Java, perhaps?) in mind and then applied to C++. Design patterns are thrown in, but in a rather superficial way. For instance, the way Visitors are implemented, they can support only very simple operations. An example of this is printing objects to an output stream. As long as the objects support a polymorphic output operator, knowledge of the concrete class is not needed. The Visitors presented here could not stand up to operations specific to the concrete type of the visited object being added to the object structure.

In my view there are some serious flaws in the author's approach to designing containers. For example, rather than use templates to provide type-safety, the author takes the approach of using a base class called 'Object'. His containers store pointers to 'Objects'. Of course, this means it is only possible to store objects of types derived from the 'Object' class. Therefore, it is not possible to do anything with the contained objects without first going through a type- laundering process. This, together with a very complex hierarchy of classes, does an excellent job of demonstrating that this is a poor approach in modern C++. It makes the whole thing far too complicated!

In conclusion, if you want a book on data structures, there are better books available. A good example in my opinion isData Structures in C++: Using the STLby Timothy Budd (reviewed in C Vu of May 1998).