C++ Cookbook Paperback – Nov 8 2005
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Solutions and Examples for C++ Programmers
About the Author
Ryan Stephens is a software engineer, writer, and student living in Tempe, AZ. He enjoys programming in virtually any language, especially C++. His interests include the fields of information retrieval and data mining, and pretty much anything that has to do with algorithms and large data sets. When he's not working, writing, or programming, he plays with his kids, works on his house, or goes cycling.
Christopher Diggins is a freelance software developer and writer who has been programming computers since he was "haut comme trois pommes". Christopher writes regularly for the C++ Users Journal, and is the designer of the Heron programming lanugage.
Jonathan Turkanis is the author of the Boost Iostreams library and several other open source C++ libraries covering areas including smart pointers, runtime reflection, component architectures and aspect-oriented programming. He is a Ph.D. candidate in mathematical logic at the University of California at Berkeley.
Jeff Cogswell has been programming in several languages for many years. His background was previously in telecom, writing software for such strange things as network management protocols. Lately, however, his work has focused more on web development. After spending a few years in both Florida and California, Jeff now lives in Michigan. He's holding out for some warmer weather.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Whining about brace style is a hopelessly lost cause. K&R style braces save lines and reduces page count in the publishing industry. Get used to it or get out of it, I say.
However, this isn't a rant.
There is a good portion of the book that would be more helpful to aspiring programmers and less useful to advanced programmers, such as "Making Sure a Header File Gets Include Only Once." In my programming career, I've seen a lot of bad code. If more developing programmers would have read this book, my life would surely have been easier!
Like any cookbook, a recipe is a guideline for producing a desired result. It is up to the chef to decide when to depart from the guideline and by how much. It is oftentimes difficult to find the core solution in a set of API documentation, for example, in string handling. The C++ Cookbook has a whole chapter on string manipulation and text processing. It is much easier to look at the often short and sweet recipes in the book and decide whether or not they are close enough to what you want to do to use them as a baseline for writing your own code, rather than just referring to an API document and trying to figure out which set of operations you want to use to accomplish the task at hand.
I don't think that this book is some kind of answer to all of our C++-related prayers; what cookbook have you used that can be so much to so many? In all, it is a worthwhile product for those seeking assistance with their everyday coding. It does tend to promote Boost. Boost is a large project of common C++ "needs" wrapped up in a fairly platform agnostic package and available as a free download. It is a lot like a "Swiss Army Knife" API for C++ in a way similar to what the JDK is to Java developers.
C++ Cookbook will be very helpful to programmers who don't want to spend time solving every little problem themselves. It may not be the best text for a veteran with ingrained Computer Sciences education, but for self-taught, non-CS disciplinarians, it may well be the ticket to writing much better code in less time. For someone making a transition from C to C++, it is an indepensible "how to" reference that you can easily read when the mood strikes. If you think FILE* before fstream, chances are this book will be a big help!
A few aspects of the book are specific to a particular platform, though for the most part, it is platform independent.
Not every C++ book needs to be written for the hardcore daily-life programmer. Hobbyists and others who find that they need to use C++ are certain to find it full of useful nuggets. There are often dozens of ways to set about solving a particular programming challenge. This book offers its solutions in a very readable, enjoyable manner that is also interesting and practical. If you're a C++ Wizard, you probably don't need this book, but in my experience, more than half the guys who think they're C++ Wizards tend to be wanna bes.
There is a lot of good information inside of this book that should be known by most experienced C++ programmers. There are also a lot of good information that is easily forgotten by programmers who don't work in a particular area of the language very often. The Cookbook provides an easy way to look up the recipe and implement a viable solution without having to sort through barely comprehensible API documentation, which is often a lot like trying to bake a chocolate cake with the first steps being milk the cow and fetch the eggs, or more likely sometimes, plant the grass so that you can raise cows to eventually milk! This book is more like a box of cake mix. Maybe not perfect in the eyes of a master chef, but good enough for the rest of us to use and enjoy.
These may sound like gripes. They aren't. This is a good book. The writing is good. The code is solid. You will find these recipes handy.
That being said, I would have liked more material on regular expressions and memory management with Boost.
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