By Mike Toms

Overload, 1(2):, June 1993

Another Issue complete. Unfortunately so much of what I wanted to put in hasn't made it, Mainly through time constraints. In the next issue will be a review of Borland's OS/2 compiler. I have had no exposure to OS/2 prior to using this compiler, and not wishing to do a poor job of the review, I have postponed the publication until it is completed.

One of the other subjects I was going to write about was namespaces. Bjarne beat me there by giving us an outline of namespaces in the interview. He has done a better job than I could; he is, after all, the author of the namespace paper.

I have received several letters commenting on the style of Overload Issue 1, in particular the variety of fonts used and the hyphenations at end-of-line wrap-around, together with like sections being scattered throughout the magazine. These faults have, been eradicated in this issue, even if it (IMHO) looks sparse. One of the side-effects of keeping all the like sections together, is that I can no longer keep articles to page boundaries. As this is not done in CVu, I must assume that it is an acceptable practice.

I have this policy of only keeping general PC magazines for about 6 months; after that period of time I remove any articles that interest me and file them. The remaining 'husk' gets filed in the little grey round thing at the bottom of my desk. It was during such a pruning that I chanced across an article in PC Answers (Dec 1992 Page 174) where someone is asking for a recommended package for learning C/C++. The person answering the questions (Steve Patient) states that: "I think that C++ is a red herring. If you want Object-Oriented programming (not asked for by the person) there are more appropriate ways to get it. Fortunately, all C++ compilers support C as a subset of the language." As you can imagine, this made my blood boil. The article was consigned to the bin His photo now occupies the centre of my dartboard!

I don't like to be over-protective of any language, they all have their place, but for someone to simply dismiss C++ in a magazine like PC Answers is a silly thing to do. I know I'm probably preaching to the converted, but C++ is certainly here to stay, and will probably end up displacing C.

It's amazing how easy it is to forget things. I had a little problem with the pre-processor the other day. After a little while, struggling to understand what stupid mistake I had made, I remembered the CPP.EXE program. This little gem is the pre-processor and if run against a .CPP file, a file (of type .I) is produced that contains all the post pre-processor source. Damn! It's obvious what that mistake was.

I got asked a difficult question when someone asked me, "If you could only keep one C++ book, which one would it be?" What dirty low-down kind of question is that? I have struggled with the answer to this. Should it be one of the standard books like Bjame's "The C++ Programming Language" or the "Annotated Reference Manual"., should it be one of the three books that rarely leaves my side (C++ Programming Style - Cargill, Effective C++ - Meyers & C++ Strategies and Tactics -Murray). Or any one of the myriad's of books bending my shelving. It should, as well as covering C++ as a language, cover the Borland compiler. The choice then becomes obvious. What book is on the top of the desk most of the time? Answer: Ted Faison's Borland C++ Object-Oriented Programming published by SAMS. What? Never heard of it! Go have a look in your book shop, it's probably not the best read in the world, but the amount of detail it covers streams and the Borland class libraries (including OWL and TurboVision) make it my number one book.

See you all soon - Mike Toms

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