Chapter 8. Gaining Proficiency with Classes and Objects

As an object-oriented language, C++ provides facilities for using objects and for writing object definitions, called classes. You can certainly write programs in C++ without classes and objects, but by doing so, you do not take advantage of the most fundamental and useful aspect of the language; writing a C++ program without classes is like traveling to Paris and eating at McDonald's! In order to use classes and objects effectively, you must understand their syntax and capabilities.

Chapter 1 reviewed the basic syntax of class definitions. Chapter 3 introduced the object-oriented approach to programming in C++ and presented specific design strategies for classes and objects. This chapter describes the fundamental concepts involved in using classes and objects, including writing class definitions, defining methods, using objects on the stack and the heap, writing constructors, default constructors, compiler-generated constructors, initializer lists in constructors, copy constructors, destructors, and assignment operators. Even if you are already comfortable with classes and objects, you should skim this chapter because it contains various tidbits of information with which you might not yet be familiar.

Introducing the Spreadsheet Example

This chapter and the next present a running example of a simple spreadsheet application. A spreadsheet is a two-dimensional grid of "cells," and each cell contains a number or string. Professional ...

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