May 22, 2003
A Language and Library Reference for C++ Programmers: O'Reilly Releases "C++ in a Nutshell"
Sebastopol, CA--Learning a language, any language, involves a process
wherein you learn to rely less and less on instruction and more
increasingly on the aspects of the language you've mastered. Whether
you're learning French, Esperanto, Java, or C++, at some point you'll
set aside the tutorial and attempt to converse on your own. A French
student knows that it's not necessary to memorize every subtle facet of
the language in order to speak it well, especially if there's a good
dictionary available. Likewise, C++ programmers understand that they
don't need to know every detail of C++ in order to write good programs.
What they need instead is a reliable, comprehensive reference that they
can keep nearby. C++ in a Nutshell by Ray Lischner (O'Reilly, US
$39.95) is that comprehensive reference, covering everything a working
professional in C++ needs to know.
To work successfully in C++, programmers need to be intimately familiar
with not only the language, but also a runtime library that includes
containers, iterators, algorithms, strings, exceptions, I/O, and much
more. The library makes up the bulk of C++'s definition. "C++ in a
Nutshell" provides a comprehensive reference to the most important,
most often used aspects of C++.
"This book provides an easy way to look up specific points about the
language and the library for people who use C++ regularly, especially
professionals, but also students and serious hobbyists," says Lischner.
"The library is so large, I often need reminders about class names,
function names and parameters, and so on."
"C++ in a Nutshell" can be thought of as a "force-magnifier," enabling
programmers to program more effectively by providing them with ready
access to the definitions and usage for the standard library and for
C++ language elements. In the book, readers will find:
A complete standard library reference, organized by header
A reference to the C++ language itself
A reference to the C++ preprocessor
Reference chapters providing detailed information about statements,
expressions, language syntax rules, functions, classes, templates, and
other important topics
Everything in "C++ in a Nutshell" conforms to the ISO/IEC 14882
standard, plus Technical Corrigendum 1. The language reference provides
Backus-Naur Form syntax diagrams, brief information on usage, and
to-the-point examples for all C++ statements and keywords. The latter
half of the book is devoted to the runtime library reference, and is
organized by header file. For each header, the reference describes the
functions, macros, classes, and other entities declared and defined in
the header. Should a programmer require a refresher on some aspect of
C++, for example on declarations, template programming, or key aspects
of the runtime library, the reference chapters in this book provide
exactly what's needed.
"C++ is a popular language, and it will continue to be popular for many
years to come," says Lischner. "At Oregon State University, they
switched to Java for most of their courses, but the local companies
that hire OSU graduates pushed back, saying they needed engineers with
C++ experience. The university added two C++ courses to the curriculum.
Java gets a lot of attention these days, and now C++ is stealing some
of that. If you look into the cubicles, you'll find people using C++
for most real programming tasks."
C++ in a Nutshell
ISBN 0-596-00298-x, 791 pages, $39.95 (US), $61.95 (CAN), 28.50 (UK)
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