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C++ as the first language (self-study)

General High School University

As I already mentioned it should not be your first language ;-). But anyway, I recommend to compare three pretty decent books (Liberty1999, Prata1998 and  Bronson1999). No one book can explain perfectly all topics, but these three come pretty close...  Liberty book is the only one that gives many important little tips that helps you to become a good programmer, but for complex topics sometimes I prefer Prata's book (inheritance explanation), sometimes Bronson's book (friends explanation, exceptions).  Actually each book covers its own subset of C++ so you can use all three :-)

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A First Book of C++ From Here to There by Gary J. Bronson

**** No e-text. There are second edition books dated 2000. I own 2000 edition of the book. Probably they are the same as 1999 edition. Generally this is expensive, but a good, honest book. Many colleges use it as a textbook. The author provides "Common Programming Errors" sections in many chapters. And that's alone makes this books superior to many other similar books. Each chapter also contains carefully selected exercises after each chapter. The author generally treats C++ as a better C in the first ten chapters. On the negative side, constructors are covered weakly, exceptions are not covered at all

Paperback 2nd edition (June 25, 1999).
Brooks/Cole Pub Co; ISBN: 0534368018 Sales Rank: 67,283

Table of contents
Avg. Customer Review: *****
Number of Reviews: 4

***** Absolutely top notch introduction to C++, November 7, 1999
Reviewer: James Weisbin ([email protected]) from New York City

In trying to make the transition from procedural languages learned years ago to C++, I kept finding myself stumped by books with indecihperable prose and leaps of logic. While authors like Stroustrup, Ellman, etc obviously know their stuff, they don't know how to explain it to the average person. This book is the best textbook that I have *ever* owned, bar none. It is crystal clear and logical from beginning to end, and assumes no prior kowledge. I highly recommend it! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

***** A Fanastic book on the subject of C++, August 6, 1999
Reviewer: [email protected] from United Kingdom
I've been trying to learn C++ for a year and a half with no success. I tried the learn C++ in 21 days series and the Teach Yourself C++ by Herbert Schildt, but none of these came close the Gary Bronson's book. His style and explanation of fundamental concepts are to be be applauded. This book focuses on the fundamentals and gradually builds up your skill to a competent level. Its a great book for beginners and I guarantee you will not be dissapointed. I also purchased his other book The First Book of C which was equally good. I am eagerly awaiting his book on Java --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

***** Yavapai College uses this book to teach C++, July 8, 1998
Reviewer: Adrian Ziemkowski ([email protected]) from Arizona, USA
I loved this book. I had tried to learn C++ before with no success. After reading this book I was able to get right into coding, even the class followed the book verbatum, it's that good. None of the code relied on other project in the book I didnt care about. And all the examples come on a diskette included. A great way to learn! I suggest it to anybody that wants to learn to code without OS specific APIs. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days by Jesse Liberty

***+ Very inexpensive (zero price if you would like to use the second edition -- it's available from the WEB; that means the book is risk free) book that in some topics head-to-head competes with Prata's book and Bronson's book. But generally its weaker.
You need to have some programming experience to benefit from this book, but this is true for any C++ book. I never saw the book that got so many 5 stars reviews on Amazon. It can be "lemming effect", but in this case it's not ;-). This would be a 4-star book, if the title was changed to C++ in 21 months (advanced C++ concepts really require a lot of time and effort) or at least they add a zero after the number 21 (which would make a more realistic 210 days :-).
All-in-all very readable up-to-date book by a very gifted educator with good advice and a nice set of examples, summaries, do's & don'ts, and quiz questions with solutions. The various Bug Busters ARE REALLY GREAT. Important little tips and warnings are scattered throughout the chapters. Most importantly, it's not BORING.
Classes are given a solid coverage in this book, and the author explains this topic well (may be constructors deserve a little bit more elaborate coverage). Jesse Liberty seems to be able to teach the advanced concepts without wading through unnecessary detail and/or overcomplicating things -- the favorite hobby of so many C++ textbook authors. The third edition is better, but the second edition is not bad.
What make this book attractive for me is that the author is trying to teach you programming, not just a language. Another important plus is that there is a Q&A and Quiz section (with answers) for each chapter of the book. The author supports every important language construct with at least one code example that really needs to be typed in and compiled in order to understand what the author is talking about.
Doing all exercises is also absolutely necessary in order to get a good understanding of the material. Do not move to the next chapter unless you did all the exercises.
There are typos and errors in the code as in any C++ book, however identifying and correcting them is a very educational experience so I would not object about them too much. BTW Jesse recommends reading Effective C++ by Scott Myers as your next C++ book. See
Day 6 -
Basic Classes
Day 12 -
Day 13 -
I would recommend the Compiler Edition of this book (but throw away the DJGPP compiler that is included ASAP :-) because it contains a CD with some useful exams to take after each chapter and all the source code (mostly error free) and some exercises.

Amazon price: $23.99
Paperback - 878 pages 3rd Updtd edition (March 1999)
MacMillan Publishing Company; ISBN: 0672315157 ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.05 x 9.13 x 7.45 Sales Rank: 2,082

Avg. Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Table of contents (for the 3d edition)

4 of 5 stars Great Author, great primer, December 22, 2000
Reviewer: Jonathan B. Smith from Lincoln, NE United States
For an introduction to C++, I really think this is a great book. While no primer can be all things to all people, I think for most folks who have little programming experience at all or little C++ experience, this is a good choice.

Make no mistake, C++ is a very complex language and a person could spend his or her whole programming life learning different ways to solve problems with it. What I like about Jesse Liberty's approach is that he assumes no prior programming experience. He does a good job of explaining the basics and providing examples to work on.

Another thing to consider is that different people learn in different ways, and J.L. has written another book called "C++ from Scratch". It takes the approach of diving into the middle of a programming problem with an experienced programmer and learning from doing. I have both books and they both have taught me a lot.

With something as complex as C++, no one book can teach you everything. From my perspective, if you're a relative new comer to programming or new to the C++ language this is a great book.

5 of 5 stars C++ in 21 days is selling like hot cakes!!!, October 3, 1997
Reviewer: GTI7321 from Orlando, Florida
I am a new student at Florida Tchnical College and I am enrolled in the C++/Java course. Until my purchase of Jesse Liberty's " Teach yourself C++ in 21 days" I was in serious danger of failing my C++ course. In just one week of reading Mr Liberty's book I have made a dramatic turnaround. This increase of understanding has not gone unnoticed. Several of my class mates have gone out and purchased a copy of the book and have asked the school to consider adding the book to the curriculum. This book is the best so far for the new programmer. My professor has also purchased a copy of the book and is encouraging students in his other classes to do the same. Thank you very much Mr. Liberty for sharing your knowledge of C++ in such a comprehensive way! The knowledge gainned far over rides the Typo's. Future C++/Java programmer! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

5 of 5 stars excellent foundation, with templates & uml, October 31, 2000
Reviewer: Norman Bo Graham from Morristown, NJ United States
my experience is the following: I have been a C/C++ programmer for 11 years.
my reason for purchasing the book is the following: When I went on interviews lately, I realized that my experience was more C then C++, and I had no UML or template (stl) knowledge. (I DIDNT EVEN USE INHERITANCE!). This is what happens when we keep our noses to the grindstone for too long. I purchased this book fully expecting to return it, but will not (it's an inexpensive great book). I am almost ashamed to admit, I quickly purused most chapters but took three pages of notes, of things I did not fully know.

You should expect the following from this book:
* An up to date intro to C++ (only experience will make you a C++ master).
* To spend beween 21 and 63 hours to read the entire book. (see the sams note above that some lessons may take you 3 hours).

Remember that C++ is still evolving, and this book can provide you with an uptodate intro, for a sawbuck and change. I am truely impressed by this book, and it's value. When I have no more use for the book, I may consider donating it to the local library, as it's probally timeless in some respects.
As for UML, it is the greatest thing to happen to C++ since the Booch notation was the flavor of the month (some sarcasm there). Seriously, UML is a must know, because the UML tools allow easy integration into your language of choice right now. Rational Rose has created documentation, that prototypes your code for you, the world is a great place right now!. This book, gives you an intro of all the UML you'll need to know to start using it right away.
As for templates, they are just wonderful. This is one of the coolest things to happen to C++.
One of the other reviewers refered to the beast of C++, yes, C/C++ is a beast, but it is a language like most others. When you break down the walls of "i'm an z programmer", then you will realize that your mental skills transend the language, and your a problem solver, with debugging skills. C++ is a beast, and this book will allow you to pick up the foundation in 21 courses!

4 out of 5 stars Great intro to OOP and pointers, but take your time, January 5, 2000
Reviewer: mniesen (see more about me) from Ames, Iowa

Any review is only useful to people with similar backgrounds, so here is where I came from: 1 semester of a beginning (non-comp sci major) university C++ course, a lot of (gasp) FORTRAN, a little PASCAL, and some BASIC.

I used the 2nd edition of this book which had a lot of code errors, although I found that finding the errors was also an excellent (unintended) learning experience, even if it did take me longer to get through the book and cause some undo frustration.

Pretty much every topic is backed up with code examples, which really helps me - a hands on type of person. I took extra time and went over some sections more than once to get a good hold on the info, especially pointers and the object oriented sections like inheritance and polymorphism. These topics can be confusing for people without experience in C++, so I wouldn't expect to get it the first time -- expect to spend extra time on some subjects, especially the traditional killer of C/C++: pointers! I know feel like I have a very good understanding of how they work.

After reading this book, I went on to do a lot of WindowsAPI and XWindows programming and found the foundation I gained from this book invaluable.

5 out of 5 stars This is definitely a masterpiece!, July 12, 2000
Reviewer: Ivan (see more about me) from Saint Petersburg, Russia
Hmmm... It's always difficult to write a review about such a good book. But let me explain... I'm a former C programmer who once decided to learn C++. And I decided to start learning from the very beginning. It was really difficult to choose a book for that purpose, cause amount of C++ tutorials is really huge. But finally I made my choice. I choose "Teach Yourself in C++ in 21 Days".

Why did I do that? Because this book was written by Teacher. It's very easy to read and understand, but in spite of simplicity it's really comprehensive. Every word is on it's place, every example of source code is well thought-out. I have seen some reviews blaming this book for something, but I'm sure - if you have some brain and are ready to think and learn this book will help you. I do recommend this book to EVERYBODY.

3 out of 5 stars Starts Well, Gets Confusing, March 25, 2000
Reviewer: Geoff Thornton (see more about me) from Oakey, Australia
The book starts well enough for the first several chapters and gives good examples that are relevant to the topic

However as the book progresses the author delves very quickly into complex programming examples and explanations that gloss over a lot of subject matter and soon leave the begginer scratching his head.

Some of the examples are indeed too complex for where they are placed in the book, for example the example on strings makes use of passing references to a function, which hasn't been covered yet leaving the beginner scratching his/her head trying to figure out what's going on without understanding the program.

This book is best used as a companion book to other C++ references.

From Wright brothers to rocket science!, June 11, 2000
Reviewer: Jim Frerichs (see more about me) from Brookings, OR
My boss gave me the assignment to learn C++. He gave me a couple of books that he though were good. I banged my head against the keyboard many a night in pure frustration trying to absorb the material and searching the Web for additional help. I next tried an on line computer course by a noted and popular school. Everything was geared to people who already knew C. The material was dated. It was like trying to learn rocket science by studying the notes the Wright brothers wrote when they were trying to figure out which way a propeller should turn.

I finally came across Jesse's 3rd edition of "Leaning C++ in 21 Days" and life if beautiful again. His examples and easily read text gave me the knowledge to read code, and more important to understand it. The book takes the time to explain terms, definitions and the why's and wherefores of the C++ language. Particularly interesting to me was memory management and why I should be concerned about it. I no longer bang out code that "just" works. I assimilate the books ideas into programs that one may call an art form.

You will never know how grateful I am to have this book as a resource. I have scribbled in the margins, highlighted, dog-eared, paper clipped important pages, made a file of example programs and on long study nights used it as a pillow. I can't wait to get "C++ Unleashed" and abuse it in the same loving way!

If you don't have prior programming experience this book is a must. If you are a C programmer you need this book to get with the new way of doing programming!

The Beginning C++ Book To Use!, August 7, 2000
Reviewer: cc00001 (see more about me) from Las Vegas, NV
Mr. Liberty is one of the foremost authorities on C++ and at the same time is an excellent, methodical teacher. This is the book to work with if you're just starting out. As with most disciplines, everything builds on the basics, so go slow and make sure you understand all of the material before moving on. All of the basics are covered most thoroughly and are very understandable. This book will prepare you to go in any direction as a C++ programmer, be it Windows, Linux, Visual C++, etc... In fact there's now a Linux version available. Highly recommended!

Who's Afraid of C++? by Steve Heller

**** Full e-text is available here.
This is a very fresh approach to a technical text but I would only recommend this book if the student was using it along with another textbook. The "conversational technique" is useful but you need a reference too.
Please remember that for any book you need to get a good compiler (Visual C++ 6.0 teaching edition or at least Borland free compiler available from the Borland site).
If you have such a compiler this can probably be the best introductory book with full text available online. Bravo Steve ! BTW the author managed to find his spouse from early testers of the book ;-). You can read an interview with Steve Heller. Here is an interesting detail: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events? Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail or other online forums?
S.H.: I met my fiance through our email interaction about my latest book. I put a notice on a Compuserve forum asking for someone who wanted to learn programming from scratch, and she replied via email. One thing led to another, including my moving to Texas from Long Island; we expect to be married before the end of this year.

Paperback / Published 1998

Amazon price: $31.96 Sales Rank: 3,772
Avg. Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 73

4 out of 5 stars Far and Away the Best Book for Teaching Yourself C++, May 17, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from Seattle, Washington
It's a little sad that this is truly the best book there is for learning C++ on your own, because Steve's teaching method is good but the format is still a little shaky.

The way the book is presented, with the discussions with a complete novice (Susan) is at times helpful, unless you do understand what is being discussed. If you use this book (and you should), and you understand what Steve is writing about (and most of the time you will), when you get to the discussions he has with Susan, skip them! Her bone-head questions will only get you confused again!

The idea is good, it's true. It really makes you feel like you're in a classroom setting and Steve is teaching you and there is some classroom discussion. However, it is as if there is one really, really big-mouthed dumb chick sitting in the front that never shuts up and keeps asking the same stupid questions again and again and again! Just when you think Steve has pounded a topic so far into the ground that no one will ever see it again, we find out that Susan still has no idea what's going on! Arrgh! :)

5 out of 5 stars Get this book!!!!, June 18, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from Queensland, Australia
You will not be sorry with the purchase of this book. I have spent considerable money on many 'Teach Yourself' titles, only to find myself giving up half-way through, or still feeling bewildered at the end. Most books really only teach you the constructs of a language, and really do not delve into the basics of programming. Here is one exception. Steve Heller makes no assumptions of the reader's experience, except that they have a willingness and desire to learn, and can at least issue commands at the DOS prompt. The journey takes you through the inners of your computer, looking at programming firstly at its lowest, then its highest level, using C++ as the language. What makes the book even more unique is the inclusion of an email tutorial between Steve and his now wife Susan, who was a complete novice. She often becomes bewildered with Steve's explanations (even though they are very clear), and he draws out the explanation until she understands. In this way, no reader should finish the book without a fundamental grasp in programming. The book does not make you a C++ programmer - it merely acts as a starting point, giving you enough to be able to go onto more advanced material. If you have any interest in programming yet have found it difficult to get started, do yourself a favour and buy this book - you won't be disappointed.

5 out of 5 stars A necessary read, regardless of your background., July 13, 1998
Reviewer: A reader from NJ, USA
This truly is one of the finest instructional books I've ever read. The author makes a bold statement in the world of technical instruction by approaching a difficult subject in a totally original manner. I've read many technical books targeted at various experience levels and the majority fall into one of two categories; the "light-hearted, light-coverage" category and the dry, "IBM-style Technical Reference Manual" category. This book defies either and for that matter any category. Certainly, it is an excellent tutorial for beginner programmers or C++ newbies. Besides excellent coverage of the basics, it is one of the few books targeted at the beginner that details the inner workings of the machine. However, this book is also essential reading for technical writers, trainers, and departmental mentors as well, regardless of the languages or tools they use. Heller teaches much more than C++ in this text. For instance, excellent examples of transferri! ! ng technical knowledge to others can be found throughout the text, as he includes an extensive one on one dialogue with an absolute beginner. For the astute reader, there's much more that can be gleaned from this book than most other programming books. This is a real find!
1 out of 5 stars If you want to learn C++, skip this, and buy a good book., December 16, 1998
Reviewer: A reader from Dallas, Texas
This book is best viewed as two halfs. The first half was actually not too bad giving the reader a quick course in computer rudements. Then something happened, I think the author did a word count and found he was half way through the amount of book he had agreed to write. The problem was that he was only about a tenth through the material he wanted to cover. The resulting chaos is a mix of too much detail, too little detail and great gobs of print devoted to his "reader" and her confusions. One is left wondering what the purpose of the book was. It was certainly NOT to teach anyone C++! The signal to noise ratio is incredably low. And at the rate the author uses you would need about 20 of these books to get the fundamentals of the language. The author himself admits that the book covers only about 5% of what one would need to program. Add all this to a writeing style that is at best, annoying, and this book is pretty much a waste of time and money. Ive read 5 books recently on the subject and this one is at the bottom. My recommendation to the determined student would be to learn the language elsewhere, from the ground up. To summarize: The first half is not too bad and should have been a seperate book on computer rudements. The second half is a chaotic mix of too quick, too slow and too much "reader". A waste of time and money.

Using C++ by Rob McGregor, Robert W. McGregor, Jerry Anderson

**** Very easy to read. Easy to understand explanations of difficult concepts in most situations. Quite comprehensive. Nice big margin to scribble notes in. Useful codes samples. Good price. A good starting text or support text. But I found very simple explanations of concepts like template and namespaces. Good book to understand concepts, may need little tweak in for the example code. Overall, a pretty good intro to OOP

Paperback - 889 pages (July 1998)
Que; ISBN: 0789716674 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.77 x 9.06 x 7.33 Sales Rank: 252,911

Avg. Customer Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 9
table of contents

Very easy to read. Easy to understand explanations of difficult concepts in most situations. Quite comprehensive. Nice big margin to scribble notes in. Useful codes samples. Good price. A good starting text or support text. But I found very simple explanations of concepts like template and namespaces. Good book to understand concepts, may need little tweak in for the example code. Overall, a pretty good intro to OOP

4 of 5 stars Good C++ introduction - but a little simple!, August 31, 1999
Reviewer: Nikolay Qviller from Norway
This book is a good one for people who has never before programmed in C++. For those who has done that, I would not recommend this book. Then you should read C++: The Complete Reference instead! The explanations of templates, namespaces, exception handling and operator overloading are a little too simple for me. Also, the last part of the book, The Standard C++ Library, breaks the tutorial form of the book into a pure reference form!!! One of the programs has a very nast bug in it that should have been checked. It completely crashed my system, and I spent the rest of the day figuring out what went wrong!

Nice!, June 7, 1999
Reviewer: [email protected] from Vermont
Fun to read. Clearly written. Great annotation of concepts in the margins. Pretty colors. Comprehensive, detailed, concise. Excellent index. Wish it had a workbook with examples. Would have given it a full 5 stars except for the fact that it's a bit heavy to lug around -- so: ****1/2*.

The only good book on c++ I came across!, January 16, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from USA
Well organised and appealing print. Examples are great. One of the best books on c++. Reasonably priced. Concepts are very well explained. While most other books are vague and make c++ appear like a monster (or do not deal with the difficult parts ), this book makes it interesting.

Great First C++ Book, January 8, 1999
Reviewer: [email protected] (see more about me) from Philadelphia
This book was invaluable in my experience with C++. I recommend it to anyone trying to learn C++.

C++ Primer Plus by Stephen Prata

****no e-text. This very good book that contains a little bit more information than a newcomer to C++ probably can digest in one semester course (even at the university level).

Source Code

Updates & Corrections

Softpanorama Review

This very good book that contains a little bit more information than a newcomer to C++ probably can digest in one semester course (even at the university level).

Still this is an extremely good deal. Not only the book itself is very well written and has an excellent typographic quality. Despite its very low ($28) price this is a 1040 pages brick with CD/ROM that contains a nice and pretty rare for an introductory book product Metrowerks CodeWarrior Lite - Cross platform edition (if you buy separately a learning edition 2.0 it will cost you $49). Book covers new ANSI Standard.

Generally this is a good all-around C++ book. Examples are downloadable from Waite Group's C++ Primer Plus Third Edition. This is one of a few books on C++ that does not presuppose substantial C knowledge and first eight chapters (almost 400 pages) are introduction to a "better C" .

Lots of good examples. Each chapter has a review questions (usually 10-15 questions on the contents of the chapter, to which the answers can be found in an Appendix) and a programming exercises section.

Loops are explained using flowchart which is an optimal pedagogical method for this constructs but exceptions were not even mentioned in the chapter.

As for complex features of C++ it's unrealistic to expect that one book can provide the best explanations of all such features. Initially an author is stronger in a particular subset of them and is weaker in another. Here is my estimates of the quality of explanation of particular features:

The programming exercises at the end of every chapter are decent and worth doing.

The book offers a nice balance between the theory of C++ and the practical aspects of programming. I generally agree with one of the readers reviews:

This book is unique in that no assumption is made of the reader's prior experience, and yet it is not "C++ for dummies". You will learn more from this book than you would from several good courses in C++ and OOP. "

On the negative side I would like to mention that problems with C++ as a language and C++ object model are almost completely omitted from the book. There is no list of pitfalls after each chapter and that diminishes usefulness of the book for a newcomer. That might provide readers with the false sense of security (the authors does mention that multiple inheritance is a tricky thing, but gives no details). The complexity of features is also not discussed and many readers feel that after more of less manageable first 12 chapters they are thrown into a tar pit and every movement forward became so difficult and slow...

Exceptions, which are IMHO one of the central advantages of C++ over C, are introduced late and are covered weakly. It's not even a separate chapter (they are covered as a part of Ch. 14 pp 690-720 -- in just 30 pages). Interaction exceptions with other features of the languages is not discussed. The book completely avoid C++ history and without historic context it's difficult to understand why a particular feature was introduced into the language and how it interact with preexisting features. Here exceptions and templates are two examples that were introduced into a language late and conflict with some preexisting features and solutions.

Here are some relevant Amazon reviews:

Great Coverage, October 20, 2000
Reviewer: Philippe Remy (see more about me) from Newport, NSW Australia
This must be the first book on programming that I actually managed to read from start to finish, and I have tried a few.

Very good coverage of a great deal of subjects, very easy to read.

The explanations are very clear, most examples are very illustrative, and yet easy to follow. I do recommend anyone reading the book to try the examples on their own (well, with a little peek in the book when in doubt...).

The book also highlights potential compatibility issues between compilers (such as GNU G++, MS VC++ 5.0,...), which is great and helpful when trying out the examples. I personally used GNU G++ in a Linux environment, and found most of the examples working as presented in the book (only a few exceptions, especially in Chapter 15 on the STL).

Each chapter has got a review section with 10-15 questions on the contents of the chapter, to which the answers can be found in an Appendix.

The writing style of the author is very natural: everything seems logical, and plain simple (most of the time).

The examples are sometimes too simple to my liking, but then again, that is a very subjective topic.

A few remarks:

- As has been highlighted by other readers, there are some typos, but not that many (some would say that one is one too many, but after having read the "SAMS Teach Yourself Visual Basic in 21 days", I really don't feel like complaining about "C++ Primer Plus);

- While the first 12 chapters are "light", the last 4 are not for the faint-hearted: the material covered is indeed heavy, and requires a lot of concentration. I found that I spent at least as much time on "studying" these last 4 chapters as I did on the rest of the book;

- Some examples in the text do suffer from inadequacies, and if you try the example code as it is in the book, you get compiler errors. This remark does not apply to the "full listing" examples, but to small code snippets within the text body. Most of the time, these inadequacies are obvious and do not impact the understanding;

- Some chapters do not go into enough detail (again, to my liking, and again, it is subjective). An example is the coverage of Exceptions: there is very little in the book about the interaction between exceptions and constructors, and yet, I would have personally thought pertinent to give a few examples of the types of exceptions a constructor can throw. In particular, there is no mention of the impact of throwing an exception from within a constructor.

These are the reasons why I did not give 5 stars, but the book is, by all means, a reference that I am sure I will go back to time and time again.

Enjoy the reading.

5 out of 5 stars Definitely for Beginners, June 4, 2000
Reviewer: A reader from UC Berkeley
This book was written for the beginner. If you have never seen C++ or any other computer language before or don't even have the slightest idea of computers, then read this book. The other customer reviews who gave this book a one star wrote their opinion from a professional point of view -- which is not the intended audience of this book. If you are an expert on C and C++ read another book. Beginners need a simple picture of C++ not tedious paragraphs. To understand the basics of the C++ language, a beginner needs only two things: 1) A simple summary of the command, and 2) an example. Unless your IQ is less than zero, then you will need extra help. C++ is a very complicated language; in other words, learning C++ is a never ending process -- you can be a professional and still learn new things about it; you can be a Phd. professor and still search for an explanation; you can even be working for Microsoft and still make new discoveries. As beginners, we want something quick. This book is like the first step on a long stairway. And if the beginner decides to pursue the depths of C++, the best resource would be your peers, colleagues, professors, and nowadays, we have the internet -- websites and chatrooms galore. All you have to do is ask. Besides, like basketball, the C++ language is self learned -- beginners need practice, practice, practice.

5 out of 5 stars Clear, concise, and easy to read while staying informative., January 31, 2000
Reviewer: Robert Gamble ([email protected]) (see more about me) from USA
As a newcomer to C++ (and C), I had a previous background in Pascal and Quick Basic. I had looked through numerous books on the subject before checking the reviews here, and decided to pick up this book as my basic tutorial. One of the things that decided the issue for me was the apparantly extensive discussion of Classes and OOP.

Having had the book for 2 weeks now, and working through it while nailing down three jobs, I have to say that the money was well worth it. Complete examples are given, along with notes for the programs, for each new command and concept. The notable exception has been on the early section covering data formats similar to structures (Unions and Enumerations). I found this section to be confusing and thus skimmed it with hopes that they will be explained later.

The exercises in the back of each chapter are actually fun, mainly because they're manageable. As a side note, I do wonder how much material in this book overlaps that of the Waite's Guide to OOP using C++, since I am also thinking about getting that book. Any comments on this would be greatly appreciated (my e-mail is listed in this review).

5 out of 5 stars A great book for beginners, March 15, 2000
Reviewer: Neurite from Florida
When I am writing this review, I keep in mind this is a teaching book for novices. You can't ask too much for a book at this level. A seasoned programmer should look for other books. I have to say the author does his job of introducing C++ to beginners perfectly. The stuff in the book is always simple, straightforward, easy and fun to read. No other book at similar levels maintains this style of writing so well.

This book is also relatively new. I tried most samples using DJGPP and Visual C++ 60. I found few compatibility problems. If there are, they are most probably addressed following the samples.

C++ How to Program by Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel

Paperback - 1168 pages 3rd Bk&cdr edition (August 3, 2000)
Prentice Hall; ISBN: 0130895717 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.45 x 9.14 x 7.03 Sales Rank: 2,574
Popular in: Nashua, NH (#12) , Richmond, CA (#4) . See more
Avg. Customer Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Number of Reviews: 40

3 of 5 stars New Edition is Over-rated, April 30, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from Nebraska
This third edition is essentially the same as the second edition by Deitel, with the exception of two changes. One being that it has a couple additional chapters and two being that it comes with a sample Microsoft Visual C++ compiler. However, be warned, this MS Visual C++ is only a sample and distribution of executables ("exes") is prohibited by the EULA (End user license agreement.) Finally, the additional chapters which are added can only be understood by the experienced C++ programmer. So, if you are just starting out, I highly suggest you save yourself some money and buy an older edition, new or used. (1st or 2nd edit.)

If you need a C++ Compiler, I suggest buying the MS Visual C++ with full rights in the EULA so one can distribute whatever programs one produces. Or, save money by downloading a free one off the Net. Your choice.

5 of 5 stars Comprehensive and up-to-date, May 6, 2001
Reviewer: Jong Hang from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am a self-taught C++ programmer and already have quite a number of C++ books, from beginner's to advanced. Like it or not, I would say this book is the most up-to-date and comprehensive coverage. Very rarely I find other books, be it beginner's or advanced that cover topics like static cast (which is essential in game programming in which I am working on now), proxy class, string and STL so well. As for the elevator simulations using Object Oriented approach, well, what can I say, they are simply superb. They are some of the examples closest to the 'real world' compare to other examples found in other books. I strongly recommend this book for any self-starter in C++.

5 of 5 stars This book is da bomb!!, March 14, 2001
Reviewer: Absar Mirza from London, England
What can I say? This book is definitely the bomb, meaning the best. I cannot understand why some people do not like this book, it's probably cos they wanna spend under Ј20 only and buy one of them cheap, lame books that don't know where they're goin'. It might be even cos' these people can't read. I am currently studying computing at Westminster university, without having previous knowledge of computers. Previous knowledge? I never touched a computer before I started university, so it is obvious I wouldn't have the slightest clue about programming. Beginning with C++ is not the best introduction to programming because it such an advanced and complex language. I looked through many books including the C++ for dummies, as I am one myself, but it is way too complex, as it doesn't teach you the basics properly and jumps onto complex topics expecting a thicko like me to know the basics just like that. Even the basics are difficult to grasp. However, this book was recommended to me by some programming geniuses, and believe me, it is definately the book I'd recommend to everyone who is as thick as me. It covers and explains the most basic element, word for word to the most complex topics, and has key points to assist you with coloured illustrations to catch your attention. This is the the book for the beginners and the advanced students or those practicing programming. Although I've been doing C++ for nearly 7 months, I still haven't got a clue, not even the basics, as I only purchased this book 2 weeks ago. However, I have learnt more in the space of 2 weeks than I have learnt in the past 7 months, so there you go!!!

Ivor Horton's Beginning C++ : The Complete Language ANSI/ISO Compliant

***+ This book competes with Stephen Prata's C++ Primer Plus, but does not contain full C intro. You need to know C to benefit from this book.

Ivor Horton / Paperback / Published 1998
Amazon price: $31.99 ~ You Save: $8.00 (20%)
Paperback - 950 pages 2nd edition (May 1998)
Wrox Press Inc; ISBN: 186100012X ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.07 x 9.21 x 7.19 Sales Rank: 9,427
Avg. Customer Review: ****+ Number of Reviews: 10



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