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December 18, 2002

Living Up to the New Standard: O'Reilly Releases "Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition"

Sebastopol, CA--Powerful, highly flexible, and adaptable for use in a wide variety of projects, C++ is already one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Now that it has become a standard listed by ANSI, the use of C++ is likely to increase. Yet, the language remains relatively difficult to learn, even by programmers already well versed in C. In this updated edition of Practical C++ Programming (O'Reilly, US $39.95), author Steve Oualline describes the new C++ landscape, with strong emphasis on design principles and good coding style.

"There are a number of 'hot' languages out there that people go crazy over, but most of the programming is in C and C++," Oualline comments. "When I was teaching C, I wanted a book that discussed two things: style and common mistakes. None of the textbooks out there did, so I wrote extensive notes to give to these classes. The notes became the basis for this book."

A complete tutorial for the beginning programmer and for C programmers transitioning to C++, "Practical C++ Programming" takes a useful, down-to-earth approach to all aspects of the language. Oualline teaches programmers how to debug, how to make code understandable to others, and how to understand other people's code. With short to-the-point chapters, his book also covers the basics of program design and elegant coding style, as well as how to find and avoid common programming mistakes. Readers not only learn C++ syntax--what to use and what not to use--but how to write clear, maintainable code and how to design and debug programs in a systematic way. Each chapter includes exercises to help ensure programmers that they've grasped the concepts before moving on.

"Every other book says 'type this in, it works,'" Oualline remarks. "Mine says, 'this contains programs with bugs in them. Type one in, sweat over it for three hours and you will have learned.'"

The new edition of "Practical C++ Programming" also reflects the newly created standard, guiding programmers through significant changes that have taken place in recent years. In spite of the popularity of C++, most programmers use nonstandard subsets of the language because their compilers and libraries do not conform to the C++ standard. In 2002, for the first time, a compiler emerged that correctly handles the entire language. Oualline's new edition includes a chapter on the C++ Standard Template Library (STL), as well as new chapters on programming design and object-oriented design.

"C++ remains the main programming language today," Oualline says, noting that, as the first object-oriented language created in 1983 as a superset of the C language, C++ allows software engineers to organize and process information quickly and effectively, and is considered by many as the best language for creating large-scale applications. "Those who know the basics of programming but don't know C++, or C programmers who want to upgrade their skills, will find this new edition useful."

Additional resources:

Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition
By Steve Oualline
ISBN 0-596-00419-2, Order Number: 4192
574 pages, $39.95 US, $61.95 CA, 28.50 UK
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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