The goal of this chapter is to cover briefly the most important parts of C++ so that you have a base of knowledge before embarking on the rest of the book. This chapter is not a comprehensive lesson in the C++ programming language. The very basic points (like what a program is and the difference between
==) are not covered. The very esoteric points (remember what a
union is? how about the
volatile keyword?) are also omitted. Certain parts of the C language that are less relevant in C++ are also left out, as are parts of C++ that get in-depth coverage in later chapters.
This chapter aims to cover the parts of C++ that programmers encounter on a daily basis. If you've been away from C++ for a while and you've forgotten the syntax for a
for loop, you'll find that in this chapter. If you're fairly new to C++ and you don't understand what a reference variable is, you'll learn that here as well.
If you already have significant experience with C++, skim this chapter to make sure that there aren't any fundamental parts of the language on which you need to brush up. If you're new to C++, take the time to read this chapter carefully and make sure that you understand the examples. If you need additional introductory information, consult the titles listed in Appendix B.
The C++ language is often viewed as a "better C" or a "superset of C." Many of the annoyances or rough edges of the C language were addressed when C++ was designed. Because ...