REVIEW - Exceptional C++ Style - 40 New Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions


Exceptional C++ Style

40 New Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions


Herb Sutter



Addison-Wesley Professional (2005)




Pete Goodliffe


February 2005



Herb has produced another exceptional (pun intended) tome

If you know Herb Sutter's writing then you will already be asking: is this another must have C++ book? Indeed it is. Herb has produced another exceptional (pun intended) tome. If you are a C++ programmer who is not familiar with Sutter's work then I suggest you get copies of Herb's previous books, work through them, and then get this one.

Sutter is a renowned C++ guru, chair of the ISO C++ standards committee, regular CUJ columnist, and conference speaker. He knows what he's talking about. As ever his latest book is well structured, readable, and authoritative.

It follows directly on from his two previous "Exceptional C++" books, and the story here is very much "business as usual". Presented in a question and answer format (which often works well, and sometimes seems very contrived), various individual topics are investigated in separate mini-articles. Some of the more thorny topics are split across several articles.

Sutter takes us on a journey through the latest wisdom on generic programming, exception safety, class design, resource management and optimisation. I was originally confused by the book's title "Exceptional C++ Style"; none of the items are really any more to do with programming style than his previous books.

However the last section, probably the best, does finally do some justice to the title. Sutter provides a number of case studies of Real World code, showing how to improve its coding style in light of modern C++ wisdom. This section alone will help less experienced C++ programmers to learn what industrial strength C++ coding is about.

The book is well cross-referenced (internally, with his earlier books, and with other major C++ books) and clearly laid out, with sound bite "guidelines" to distil the important information. It comes highly recommended for all practicing C++ programmers.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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