REVIEW - Learning C++ 3ed


Learning C++ 3ed


Eric Nagler




Thomson ()




Paul F. Johnson


February 2005



obviously put a lot of thought into the layout and approach to the book and it shows

I started reading this book and what initially struck me was how easy it was to read. It has plenty of good points (such as common problems and helpful hints) and the writing style is very much like Schildt, except without the number of mistakes.

I really have two problems with the book.

Firstly, the over use of acronyms. The author seems to like these and while they are initially explained, it becomes a pain trying to remember them. Sure we have the likes of FDDI and other such acronyms to recall, but the number of them in this book really will not help those wanting to learn.

Secondly, the use of Hungarian notation. I have never liked Hungarian notation and is widely discredited as a teaching method within education. Take for instance this variable name

char const *ptr Ptr;

What exactly is it? Okay, to the seasoned reader, we would recognize it as a char const pointer called Ptr, but put yourself in the position of a new learner. It is hard enough coming to terms with the use of const without finding names such as above.

Those aside, the author has obviously put a lot of thought into the layout and approach to the book and it shows - the coverage of the C++ style of casting comes very early and classes and encapsulation are handled in a simple to understand approach.

My other criticism is that there are a lot of "will be covered in chapter xxx" when a simpler approach would be to have (say) try/catch when discussing memory allocation - the code is there and a line saying what the try/catch mechanism does and then refers to a later chapter. It certainly does not detract overly much, but for a new learner, it will not help.

While not as comprehensive as a Schildt book (in terms of coverage rather than accuracy - this book has far fewer mistakes than the average Schildt book), it is a far better book for a new-comer to C++ than a lot of books on the market. Recommended with reservations.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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