Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2002
Pages: 576

C++ is a powerful, highly flexible, and adaptable programming language that allows software engineers to organize and process information quickly and effectively. But this high-level language is relatively difficult to master, even if you already know the C programming language.The 2nd edition of Practical C++ Programming is a complete introduction to the C++ language for programmers who are learning C++. Reflecting the latest changes to the C++ standard, this 2nd edition takes a useful down-to-earth approach, placing a strong emphasis on how to design clean, elegant code.In short, to-the-point chapters, all aspects of programming are covered including style, software engineering, programming design, object-oriented design, and debugging. It also covers common mistakes and how to find (and avoid) them. End of chapter exercises help you ensure you've mastered the material.Practical C++ Programming thoroughly covers:

  • C++ Syntax
  • Coding standards and style
  • Creation and use of object classes
  • Templates
  • Debugging and optimization
  • Use of the C++ preprocessor
  • File input/output
Steve Oualline's clear, easy-going writing style and hands-on approach to learning make Practical C++ Programming a nearly painless way to master this complex but powerful programming language.
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oreillyPractical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition
 
3.3

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 13 customers

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2.0

Frustrating for a beginner

By Les Paul

from LA, CA

Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

It's frustrating when even the sample code won't compile. How am I supposed to build on that?

(1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Very good book

By Aleph

from Topeka, KS

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

I have some pgming experiance but no C or C++. This book was easy to read and understandable. The examples worked. I would definitely recommend it.

(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Practical C++ Programming

By Alex Mac

from Timisoara, Romania

About Me 9th grade student, Coding freak, Hacker, Mad Programmer, Math lover

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

    This book is one of the best I have readed. I allready knew some C++ before starting it, so for me was a complete bless from the author.
    Why ? Because it does not cover only the syntax of C++, but also the art of coding. So, once you readed this book, you will be able to code with style in every language, not only in C++. Also, it is full of questions, exercises, and common programming errors perfectly pointed.
    The style of coding is so excellent ! I showed once a code writed by me (to solve an exercise from the book) to my mother. She has no ideea and no interest in programming, but she could understand a little. Why, because this book learned me how to code. Now, imagine how easy will be for a programmer to be in a team with you, if even a person who never programmed before can understand a little from you code.
    The bad part ?
    As almost all programming books, it sometimes points a few things from further chapters. So,for a complete noob
    will be a little difficult. But this book is not named C++ for complete noobs, is named "Practical C++ Programming".
    So, if you want to learn how to code, not just how to code in C++, this book is the must have tool, even if you allready know C++ or C.

    (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Excellent Book

    By PJ

    from Battle Creek, MI

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

        This is a great book. The information is presented in a very clear way and the author has an excellent grasp of what things are important and what you can do without. I am glad I bought it.

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Good review of C++ for the occasional programmer

        By Anonymous

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

        I am a programmer that only uses C++ on occasion. The other languages I use are different enough that when I need to work in C++, I often need to quickly review certain aspects. This is the book I turn to for that.

        (31 of 34 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Why I hate this book

        By IP Freely

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

        I didn't start off hating Oualline's Practical C++ Programming (PCPP), but grew more and more frustrated trying unsuccessfully to learn from it. Eventually I bought Stroustrup (not easy reading, but thorough and reliable), then came back years later and realized how incompetently-written PCPP is. Detailed, well-argued reviews panning PCPP have been available online for more than six years. I'm only investing time to write this review because I see, with some shock, that in 2007 one can still find positive reviews. PCPP is a black mark on an otherwise excellent series of books. If discontinuing the volume isn't possible, the title should be changed to the more accurate ``C++ syntax for C programmers'' and the back cover comments, some of which are baldly false (``...a complete introduction to the C++ language for the beginning programmer...''), should be rewritten.

        PCPP garners opinions at both ends of the spectrum, and few in between. In fairness, there's truth in the positive reviews: Parts are written in a lively style, and the book might be useful to a C programmer who needs to port code quickly to C++ syntax. If you consult the book as a guide to quick-and-dirty porting of C to C++, or as a first introduction to the process of programming (and you read only Chapters 1-3 and 7), you may have an acceptable experience. If you intend to learn C++, not merely the syntax, but the overall philosophy, I'd recommend books by Scott Meyers, Stephen Dewhurst, Herb Sutter, or Bjarne Stroustrup. Oualline's PCPP is a terrible C++ book, introductory or no.

        As others have mentioned, PCPP is filled with typos. According to Oualline, this is a feature, not a bug, since a programmer must be able to spot errors in code. Unfortunately for the C++ newbie, this reasoning presumes one already knows the language.

        The book exhibits (and therefore disseminates) numerous, fundamental misunderstandings of C++ features, design, and programming philosophy. Why even mention macros and the pre-processor, structures, unions, and bitfields in a C++ book that neglects data encapsulation, object-oriented design, memory management idioms, virtual functions and inheritance, templates, and other basic language features and philosophy? These are not merely consequences of the publication date.

        Flipping casually through my own well-marked copy of PCPP, without searching for particularly egregious lapses of accuracy and clarity, I found dozens of gaffes. Chapter 5 discusses arrays, while the STL provides less error-prone methods of handling strings and a variety of list-like structures. And telling the reader to use fixed-size arrays, strcpy, et. al?! Hard-coding container sizes is not merely gratuitous rigidification; it's an invitation to buffer overflows and other memory-corrupting bugs.

        The mis-explanations of references (combined with ampersand typos) are a pedagogical disaster. The first mention (p. 137) refers the reader to Chapter 4, where references do not appear. Oualline promptly claims, ``For global and local variables, reference variables are not very useful. However, when used as parameters they take on an entirely new meaning.'' For starters, good C++ uses const references to avoid unnecessary copying. Second, functions that modify their arguments are bad O-O style; the reference parameters should be private members of a class. Said class should provide a method the modifies the data. Open to a random page of PCPP and you're likely to encounter one or more errors of comparable magnitude.

        It's difficult to understand how a competent C++ programmer could have written Chapter 13, which introduces classes. On p. 198: ``You start a stack design by designing the data structure.'' No, in an O-O language you start by designing an interface.



        It gets worse. On p. 201: ``The design [of a stack] states that only the stack should have access to these fields, but there is nothing to prevent rogue code from modifying them.'' (Emphasis added.) Oualline's seemingly flip use of the term ``rogue code'' suggests malware. In reality, a class's internal data should be private to break unnecessary ties between distant parts of a program. One of C++'s great strengths is the compiler-enforced separation of interface and implementation. Oualline's failure to mention this basic features tells me he doesn't understand C++ at a level higher than basic grammar.

        PCPP pretends to be a complete introduction to C++, but in fact emphasizes C's features, discusses only procedural programming, and fails to explain object-oriented programming (classes and inheritance) accurately or even to mention generic programming (templates). Oualline is a C programmer who believes he knows C++ because he can write C using C++ syntax. A reader whose sole exposure to C++ is Oualline's book has no meaningful knowledge of the vast differences between C and C++.

        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very excellent technical presentation. Covers it all nicely

        By max11

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

        Bought this title as a way to refresh c++ experience obtained during the 90's. Did the job. As well as providing lots of other insights. Lots of code examples. Excellent content on const, references, classes, bitwise, etc et al, extremely well done on everything c++. Would like to see his solutions to his exercises. Is that in the teacher guide? I don't really understand the critical reviews. This book is highly recommended.

        (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Practical C++ Programming

        By Anonymous

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

        One of the worst programming book's I ever have had the unfortune to read.

        It allways start out explaining (in detail) how not to do, then it conitinue to make improvmens of the faulty code untill it works, unfortunatly the last tidbits of information are always given out of context, so you never get a working example.

        This is really bad writing, stay away!

        (0 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        excellent

        By andysuwei

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

        Very Good!

        why people would want to trash this book here.

        because this book is very successful in writing style. as Chinese Saying said:"The wind will destroy it if the tree is very beautiful in forest"

        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition Review

        By Barnaby Robson

        from Undisclosed

        Comments about oreilly Practical C++ Programming, 2nd Edition:

        Good Book

        I have no idea why people would want to trash this book here. It explains everything and is a good read, if you can believe a programming book could be fun to read.

        An example of what I mean is that as the text goes from simple to complex .. things are introduced ... their simplicity makes you say ".. but what would happen if x ..." and then the next chapter will have a section expounding on the last one including that complexity that you thought you were missing.

        It is a beginners book so some who are advanced might feel they are being babied ... this isnt a full reference manual. But actually the text is quite ambitious in scope .. it explains a great deal of programming related stuff with succinct one liners in the first chapters.

        Also it is a little outdated. In one of the chapters he writes " .. more and more computers have graphics now" ... whoa that is sooo early ninetees.

        The only thing missing is some answers to the exercises for a reader who isn't working through it with a class or teacher.

        THE END.

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