C++, although a marvelous language, isn't perfect. Matthew Wilson has been working with it for over a decade, and during that time he has found inherent limitations that require skillful workarounds. In this book, he doesn't just tell you what's wrong with C++, but offers practical techniques and tools for writing code that's more robust, flexible, efficient, and maintainable. He shows you how to tame C++'s complexity, cut through its vast array of paradigms, take back control over your code—and get far better results.
If you're a long-time C++ developer, this book will help you see your programming challenges in new ways—and illuminate powerful techniques you may never have tried. If you're newer to C++, you'll learn principles that will make you more effective in all of your projects. Along the way, you'll learn how to:
Overcome deficiencies in C++'s type system
Enforce software design through constraints, contracts, and assertions
Handle behavior ignored by the standard— including issues related to dynamic libraries, static objects, and threading
Achieve binary compatibility between dynamically loading components
Understand the costs and disadvantages of implicit conversions—and the alternatives
Increase compatibility with diverse compilers, libraries, and operating environments
Help your compiler detect more errors and work more effectively
Understand the aspects of style that impact reliability
Apply the Resource Acquisition Is Initialization mechanism to a wide variety of problem domains
Manage the sometimes arcane relationship between arrays and pointers
Use template programming to improve flexibility and robustness
Extend C++: including fast string concatenation, a true NULL-pointer, flexible memory buffers, Properties, multidimensional arrays, and Ranges
The CD-ROM contains a valuable variety of C++ compilers, libraries, test programs, tools, and utilities, as well as the author's related journal articles. New and updated imperfections, along with software libraries and example code are available online at http://imperfectcplusplus.com.
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