Author: Ivor Horton
Even working C++ programmers may not be familiar with all the advanced features of the Standard C++. The approach throughout Beginning C++ is to cover what C++ does out of the box. (One good reason to consider C++ instead of Java, for example, is that C++ is very close to becoming an international standard, while Java continues to fragment amid proprietary disputes between vendors such as Sun Microsystems and Microsoft.) Even early chapters introduce Standard Library features along with basic C++ data types, keywords, operators, and flow control statements. The built-in C++ string class gets full coverage, all before the book introduces the concepts of pointers. (It's significant that the new C++ can do a lot more than manipulate data through pointers. The author makes a strong case that these built-in strengths are what will let C++ compete against Java.)
Later chapters explore topics in class design, which lets you design custom effective classes in C++. Thorny issues in class design, such as inheritance, virtual methods, and the proper use of default and copy constructors, as well as the pitfalls and advantages of operator overloading, are all presented in remarkably clear detail.
Classes in the C++ Standard Template Library are given their due. In all, Beginning C++ provides a massive amount of material, but presents it in digestible increments. The authors do a fine job of presenting the basics before going on to more advanced topics. This can be used as a stand-alone text to getting the most out of the C++ language.
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