May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Intermediate (University second course) C++ textbooks

(The second course is often called Advanced Object Oriented programming)

See also STL books in the refernece section

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**** The C++ Programming Language  3-d ed.
Bjarne Stroustrup / Paperback / Published 1997
Please read review The C++ Programming Language, Third Edition -- review from DDJ
***+ C++ Primer
Stanley B. Lippman, and Josée Lajoie  / Paperback / Published 1998 (third edition)
Amazon Price: $45.95

Addison-Wesley Longman ( )
ISBN 0-201-82470-1
Pages 1237
Slightly outdated. Not exactly primer ;-) and definitely not suitable for beginners.  Covers exceptions. The reader needs to know C very well in order to benefit from the book or  should at least have your feet wet with both C or C++. Amazon reviews  are not that flattering as the review in ERCB Review: C++ Primer -- The Most Educational Path To Learning C++ and so on and so forth. The most relevant reviews are reproduced below:

beginner, July 11, 2000
Reviewer: badname (see more about me) from Australia

I think most of reviewers who wrote reviews for this book are experienced programmers or at least they know how to buy computer books. Well I am a C++ beginner and I bought this book and I've used it for a while. See how a real beginner think. I bought this book 2 months ago when I started programming in C++. Nobody recommended it to me. The reason I decided to buy it because it looked to me that the book was very well organized. Well it really is. When I started reading and practining with it, I found that this book is definitely not for beginners. The author wrote in preface "Knowledge of the C language is not assumed... this book is intended as a first book on C++; it is not intended as a first book in programming!" I think if he changed to " this book is intended to be used with other C++ books", would be much better because it's really hard to understand C++ by using this book alone. If you use this book as your first book for C++ and you understand well what are presented in the book, you may be one of the following.

1. You hold the head of the department of computer science

2. You just received bronze medal for computer olympic or the like

3. You should found your own software company soon

4. You are cheating

The book starts with a program contained several funtions, followed by processor directives and pointer. I didn't understand most of first 100 pages but when I go to other books and came back to this book, I could understand much better.

However I give this book 5 stars. What I can say is the book is great but not for beginners. Now I have about 12 books on C++ and I regrete that I bought some of these but I never regrete that I bought this book. I think that this book is the best of all I have. Why? Other viewers already mention it all. If you know a litle bit of C or C++ and you are thinking to buy a book, think of this one. You never regret.

Pretty Good, but should change the title....(why?), April 25, 2000
Reviewer: dave_japan (see more about me) from University of Tsukuba, Japan

After years of being a C++ programmer, read quite a lot of books (about 20, I think)... I considered this one as one of my favourite, that I usually refer to when I have some problem.

However, this book is definitely not-for-beginner. So, some of the reader might be misleading by/confuse with its title. The writers had stated this clearly on the back cover, which said "for developers new to C++" and in the preface, which said "This book is intended as a first book on C++; it is NOT intended as a first book on programming!" (However, it's a Primer for "C++" not for "Programming" anyway :-)

One big thing that made this book different from most of the C++ introductory books is, this book provided a lot of "real-world" program examples. Here, I really mean "real world", the program that you can really "use" (maybe after make them a bit more advanced/complete), like the text query system. While all other books provided some little codes to illustrate the points. Ok, that's better for those who know nothing, someone who come to C++ "from scratch", something like that... But after you finished it, you still might not get the idea of how to put them together , unless there are any bigger program to illustrate the idea.

Note to those who are new to programming : Read other book first, so you won't blame on a good book like this.

Note to everyone who had been misleaded by this book's title : Make sure you've read the back cover and the preface of any book before buying it, if you can... (if you can't, you have to try your luck..., good luck for you then :-)

This has to be THE classic book on C++, April 26, 2000
Reviewer: A. Kim from New York

This book is to C++ what K&R's C programming language is to C. Both books are not for novices to C or C++, so any harsh comments on this book from beginners should not deter intermediate to advanced C++ programmers from reading it. This book is concise, logical, to the point, and no extraneous, redundant explanations. Just like what K&R's C is. Through careful reading, I was able to follow 95-99% of the material, which is much better percentage than I was doing with Stroupstrup's (maybe less than 75%). If you are a C++ practitioner going for job interviews, each page in this book is a gem, clearly written,concise interview questions. I was programming in C++ for 4 years before I thoroughly read this book, and I feel like I know everything about C++ at this point (ok, maybe 9 out of the scale of 1-10)

C++ Primer, February 18, 2000
Reviewer: Jeff Maxwell from USA

The worst textbook I've ever used. I'm trying to learn C++ and I find this book to be confusing, to say the least. The method of showing three or four wrong ways to do something before showing the correct method is totally exasperating. I have completely lost all faith in this book as a learning tool. A complete and total waste of time, effort and money!

A reader from Computer Science Lab. U.F. , July 21, 1999
Head for higher water....

I'm quite confused about who the intended audience of this book is for. The book's cover would suggest that its for beginners but it is written in such a way that a beginner would have a tough time with it. And it is not an advanced book by my definition. What really ruined this book is the ridiculous layout of the book. Whoever made the decision to write this book this way should be forced to program in Prolog for the next 6 months or read the entire "War And Peace" while standing on one foot. You don't present material early in a book and then explain it many chapters later! This goes against the human thought proccess. The material should have been presented with some semblance of logical order! Lippman knows his stuff, he just does'nt know how to write. I would recommend passing this one over for a more clearly written book.

A reader from USA , July 10, 1999
I "Teach Myself C++" with this book.

I don't know anything about C++, even though I have a master degree in computer science. I need to learn C++ because we are in the process of converting C code to OO paradigm. C++ is the first choice. This book was given to me by my boss (I did not spend a dime). I read it from cover to cover, and I am reengineering our application in C++. In my opinion, this is an execllent book, althought I didn't read any other C++ books. I like to give it 5 stars, because during the past 5 months I learn more than just a languag syntax. I could give this book a bad review so nobody wants to read it. But it is not fair, isn't it?

[email protected] from US , June 30, 1999
Disorganized, not for a begginer
The content of the book is fair, however the organization is terrible. Some more complicated topics are introduced before simple concepts, or in some areas, complicated topics that were not discussed are used to explain simple ideas (it does get better after chapter 5 or so, but the first five chapters are the very basics that you should know before doing anything remotley complicated). For this reason, you should at least have your feet wet with C or C++ before reading this book.

Next, this is one of the few books I've read that has 'decent' quiz questions. But guess what ? There are no answers!

Some topics are not explained very well, again the author assumes you already know something about it.

The examples in the book are fair, but most of them are not 'real world'. In several places however, there are just fragments of code instead of a full example, which can sometimes confuse the reader.

This book should not be bought alone to learn ANSI C++ if you are just starting with the language, however it can be used in addition to another book.

A reader from New York, USA , May 13, 1999 2 out of 5 stars
The authors assume too much
This might have been a good book on C++ programming if the authors did not assume any prior knowledge of C++ on the reader's part. The way information is presented in the book is much too difficult to grasp (and i'm not a beginner in programming) - the reader is drowned by the complexity (or maybe good explanation) of programming examples. I do understand that the authors know a lot about C++, but the book falls short of trying to explain the language in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. The bottom line is - look somewhere else for a good C++ textbook. P.S. The book that i personally liked reading is called "C++ primer plus".

Excellent Introduction to C++ for C programmers, December 21, 1997
Reviewer: [email protected] (see more about me) from Ellicott City, Maryland, USA

Lippman's primer is the first book on C++ programming that I read. It happends to remain one of my favorites. The first part of the book is devoted to the "basic" syntax of the language. The differences with C are pointed out and for those unfamiliar with C programming this material is essential. The second half of the book coveres C++ specific topics like templates and object-oriented constructs. I find Lippman's examples superb.

I would rate the book a 9 out of 10 for technical content, but unfortunately C++ has changed appreciably in the 6 years since it's publication. Overall I'd have to give it a 7 since it does not cover the recent changes to the language, for example the Standard Library (STL). Of course, only one introductory text does cover STL anyway, so I have high standards.

Conversly, since the book was written about the time of the Annotated Reference Manual (ARM) it is a great introduction for experienced programmers who don't already know C++ and who might not want to know right away about the latest and esoteric features of the language. Persons entirely new to programming might not want to start with this book.

I teach C++ programming courses to part-time graduate students at the Johns Hopkins University and of the 20 or 30 C++ texts on my shelf I consider C++ Primer one of the top 2-3.

Paul McNamee --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Thinking in C++, Vol. 1 (2nd Edition) is available as a e-book
by Bruce Eckel
Amazon price: $31.96
Paperback - 720 pages 2nd Bk&cdr edition (March 15, 2000)
Prentice Hall; ISBN: 0139798099 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.30 x 9.20 x 7.06 Sales Rank: 1,832
Avg. Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 8
This probably will be not bad intermediate book, although the author is a more "object-oriented fundamentalist" than I would like...

5 out of 5 stars think like a programmer and apply this using C++, June 22, 2000
Reviewer: maged (see more about me) from Ottawa

It's hard to find a book that teaches you how to program or how to use your logic to write programs. This book describes the problem of programming in C++ in a complete different way than other c++ books. It doesn't list the keywords and the syntax of the language but rather introduce you to problems that any programmer using any language might face, and then give you the answer in C++. It was nice that you can write a C++ program just in the second chapter while understanding completely the meaning and the usage of keywords like "#include" and namespaces which you'll usually find in the last chapters of ordinary c++ books. so you'll get the feeling of how, why and where to use any part of c++ language not just knowing how to use it. Thanks to Bruce Eckel for providing the book completely online in his web site. that shows that he really cares to make people understand c++ programming not just making money out of publishing a book. I'll be more generous than him by buying the hardcopy of the book :-)

2 out of 5 stars Looking for a Good C++ Tutorial for C Programmers?, July 26, 2000
Reviewer: A Seasoned Programmer from Seattle, WA (USA)

As a C programmer, I purchased "Thinking in C++" to learn OOP and C++, but I'm sadly disappointed. I find the book very wordy and poorly organized, and the gradeschool-style of large type makes reading it even more difficult. And you can forget about using the book as a reference, as clear definitions are difficult to find. The CD-ROM may be helpful to beginning programmers, but don't expect too much from it. And realize (arrgh) that you have to use Microsoft products exclusively to run the CD! On the plus side, the book contains lots of code examples showing how to use the language attributes, which is very helpful.

If you like a fluffy, narrative style of writing then perhaps you'll like this book, but most readers will find the book to be like wading through molasses.

4 out of 5 stars Finally, a decent C++ Tutorial, July 15, 2000
Reviewer: Allen Vander Meulen; Masters Consultants Inc (see more about me) from West Chester, PA USA

Thing in C++ is an excellent introduction to C++ programming. As a fairly competent C programmer, I found his book to be clear and readable: focusing on the essentials and stepping you through C++ in an orderly and straightfoward fashion. I highly recommend it for any programmer looking to get into C++.

Mr. Eckel's text and example code rely heavily on the STL (aka the ANSI Standard C++ Library), which is an excellent idea. However, the text does little more than give you a flavor of what the STL is, and what it can do. The author promises that a second volume (Thinking in C++, 2nd. Editon, Volume 2) is in the works, which will delve deep into STL. He refers you to his website to see rough drafts of this planned text and a companion text (The Thinking in C++, 2nd. Edition, Volume 1 Annotated Solutions Guide by Chuck Allison).

Unfortunately, it appears that neither of these companion books will be published for at least a year. The text he supplies on the website is still (obviously) in very incomplete form.

This leaves me more than a little disappointed. If you buy this text, you'll find yourself (like me) returning to in a few days to find someone else's book on STL!

C++ Standard Library

The C++ Standard Library A Tutorial and Reference
by Nicolai M. Josuttis
Our Price: $54.95
Hardcover - 832 pages 1 edition (August 1999)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201379260 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.61 x 9.48 x 7.63 Sales Rank: 1,084
Popular in: Sandia National Laboratories (#15) , Global Datalink, Inc. (#6)
Avg. Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 29
5 of 5 stars The winner and new champion, March 14, 2000
Reviewer: Joel M. Sarch from Silicon Valley, CA

It used to be that my colleagues and I would sit around arguing about which was the best book on STL and/or Standard C++. Each of the available offerings fell short in a major way. Either it was to introductory, or too complex and incoherent. Or perhaps it neglected major topics.

Josuttis is the new undisputed champion. Chapters 2 & 3 alone are worth more than the price of the book. And it gets better as you go.

Yes, some of the examples involve simple objects. However, from the way the author develops the subject matter, extending the examples to more complex, dynamic objects becomes a simple task.

This is probably the only book you'll ever need on STL and the C++ Standard Library extensions.

5 of 5 stars STL and More..., December 24, 2000
Reviewer: James Boer (see more about me) from Kirkland, WA United States

Mr. Josuttis offers in this book an amazingly comprehensive guide to the often bewildering C++ standard library. I originally purchased this book looking for more STL information, and I was certainly not disappointed in that respect. STL descriptions account for nearly half of the book volume. However, as non-STL questions arose, I found myself digging into this book time and time again (questions about auto_ptr, string class, allocators, etc).

If you're a C++ programmer and do not already own a current (circa 1999 or later) library reference, do yourself and your code a favor and grab a copy of this book. C++ is an extremely scalable language. It's easy to use only knowing a small subset of the language and library features. Having a reference such as this one ensures that you'll be less likely to accidentally duplicate work that has already been done for you in the standard library.

As far as book organization goes, I'd say that the book does lean more towards "reference" rather than "tutorial", but I never believe a book that claims to be both anyhow. Anyone interested in a pure tutorial should buy a book specifically written with that in mind. For more experienced programmers not needing quite as much hand holding, however, the book does work as advertised.

Overall, I can't really recommend this book more enthusiastically.

Accelerated C++ Practical Programming by Example (C++ In-Depth Series)
by Andrew Koenig, Barbara E. Moo
Our Price: $33.95
Paperback - 352 pages 1 edition (August 14, 2000)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 020170353X ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.71 x 9.22 x 7.39 Sales Rank: 1,549
Avg. Customer Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Number of Reviews: 15

Very effective alternative to other C++ books., September 30, 2000
Reviewer: Robert Gamble (see more about me) from Wilmington, NC USA

I'll start by saying that I probably would not have understood this book as well as I have, if I had not already been teaching myself C++ through other forums (primers and online). The thing that most of these other forums have in common is that they start with the basics and build up slowly to the more abstract concepts. The problems come during the switchovers (char* to string, procedural programming to object oriented, pointers to iterators, linked lists to containers, etc). In almost all cases you learn the more basic, and paradoxically more difficult concepts first. Then you have to 'unlearn what you have learned' in order to use the more advanced concepts.

So what's different about this book? It teaches a mix of syntax and 'advanced' concepts right from the beginning. You learn the basics of loops and choice statements while using the Standard Library. You also use them in specific examples that have real world uses (the grading program in the first few chapters for example). The Standard Library is _easy_ compared to arrays, char*, rolling your own linked list, using pointers, etc. Since it takes far less time to learn, you can be writing useful programs very quickly. _Then_ the authors go on to describe some of the more 'basic' concepts, usually in terms of how they implement some of the ideas behind the Standard Library. Since you have that understanding already, things like pointers become easier not only to learn, but to understand how they can be used.

I have one complaint about the book, and that's with the grading program, specifically how it appears in Chapter 4. As written, it's very confusing to actually enter data to get it to run correctly. A minor complaint though, considering how many times I thought to myself 'Aha! This is what I could use to solve this problem I've been having.' Or 'Aha! So this is what those other books were trying to say.'

In a nutshell, it's a refreshing look at C++ and if not able to stand on its own, is a must have supplement for anyone learning or using the language. At the very least, it's made me question the seeming SOP of giving the Standard Library one or two chapters and calling fundamentally harder concepts 'basic' and the concepts that make programming in C++ easier being considered 'advanced'.

5 of 5 stars The best "learning C++" book yet., November 22, 2000
Reviewer: james_dennett (see more about me) from Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom

I picked up a copy of "Accelerated C++" to see what the fuss was about, and I'll add my voice to those who have praised this book. It is the first book I've seen to introduce C++ coding in a high-level manner along with some notion of invariants, and reminded me in some ways of the text which taught me Modula-2 a decade ago (Sale's "Modula-2: Disciple and Design", as if it matters). I think/hope that this book will help to improve the average quality of [C++] programming.

If you've been put off learning C++ because you think that it's just a low-level language, this book might be your reason to try again: it shows how to use C++ in a high-level style, and more importantly it reminds us how to _think_ in a high-level style and translate that directly to code.

-- James Dennett <[email protected]>

Standard Template Library : A Definitive Approach to C++ Programming Using STL
P. J. Plauger, et al / Paperback / Published 1998
Data Structures in C++ Using the Standard Template Library ~ Ships in 2-3 days
Timothy Budd / Hardcover / Published 1997
Stl for C++ Programmers ~ Usually ships in 24 hours
Leen Ammeraal, Leendert Ammeraal / Paperback / Published 1997
Amazon Price : $54.99

C++ Programmer's Guide to the Standard Template Library by Mark Nelson

Advanced C++

See also Optimization
More Exceptional C++
by Herb Sutter
... Our Price: $34.99
Paperback - 256 pages 1st edition (December 17, 2001)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 020170434X Sales Rank: 5,740

5 of 5 stars Filled with forty all-new working strategies and solutions, February 9, 2002
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review (see more about me) from Oregon, WI USA

Part of the outstanding Addison-Wesley "C++ In-Depth Series", Herb Sutter's More Exceptional C++: 40 New Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, And Solutions is the sequel to his popular and "user friendly" Exceptional C++: 47 Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, And Solutions (0201615622). Filled with forty all-new working strategies and solutions to solve real-world problems, More Exceptional C++ presents its valuable information in problem-and-solution format so that experienced programmers can streamline their code and improve their results. Chapters cover such topics as code optimization and so-called "lazy optimization"; the uses and pitfalls of multiple inheritance; how to properly use auto_ptr and much, much more. A valuable and informative resource for experienced C++ programmers.

5 of 5 stars Effective C++'s Big Brother, February 1, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Sim City, CA (Somewhere in the Bay Area)

Addison Wesley's "C++ In-Depth Series" is showing an amazing consistency in producing one winner after the other. Any C++ programmer could almost blindly pick up any book in the series and learn some new valuable insights.

I like "More Exceptional C++" even more than the original. It's not clear to me whether this is because the book is better or because the subject matter has become more important to me. The "Exceptional C++" series is shaping up to be a big brother to the "Effective C++" series, covering areas somewhat more advanced than those in the Effective series, such as exceptions, templates, and namespaces.

One aspect of the book I don't particularly care for is the quizzes/points format that, I suspect, is due to the origins of the book in the author's "Guru of the Week" series.

This is a great book and should belong in every advanced C++ programmer's personal library.

5 of 5 stars Picks Up Where The First Book Left Off, January 30, 2002
Reviewer: Philip R. Heath (see more about me) from Plano, TX United States

More Exceptional C++ is every bit as good as the first offering from Sutter. Like the first, this is an advanced text, and a solid working knowledge of C++ is necessary to get the most out of this book.

For those without experience with Sutter's previous book, this is divided into "Items" grouped together by broad subject area. Unless the the items make up a series such as Items 13-16, they can be read independently and in any order. This layout is helpful to the reader who doesn't have a lot of time to read a book from cover to cover. One can sit down and spend 30 minutes with an item and gain valuable insight into the specific subject matter Sutter deals with.

I enjoy the author's writing style because he tends to be more conversational than lecturing. He interjects humor - albeit it geek humor - from time to time. The presentation makes learning advanced techniques, dare I say, fun rather than dry and cumbersome.

It is also worth noting that being advanced doesn't preclude being practical. Sutter deals with everyday topics such as the STL, exception safety, and inheritance. If you are ready to make the step to advanced C++ programmer, this book will guide you on your way in a practical, enjoyable manner.

Exceptional C++ 47 Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions
by Herb Sutter
Our Price: $33.95
Paperback - 208 pages 1 edition (December 2, 1999)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201615622 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.37 x 9.15 x 7.31 Sales Rank: 6,977
Average Customer Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars Based on 17 reviews.
Standard C++ IOStreams and Locales Advanced Programmer's Guide and Reference
by Angelika Langer, Klaus Kreft
Our Price: $49.95
Hardcover - 672 pages 1 edition (January 21, 2000)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201183951 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.38 x 9.56 x 7.72 Sales Rank: 21,832
Average Customer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars Based on 13 reviews.

5 of 5 stars Hidden Treasures, February 2, 2001
Reviewer: Klaus Wittlich from Cologne, Germany

The reason why I bought this book was the wish to learn more about the C++ Standard. When I held the book in my hand the first time I was not shure if it would be worth the time reading it. It seemed only be useful for a DOS - like software, not for my GUI problems.

So I was very surprised in a good sense to read about ideas how to use IOStreams for GUI - internationalization (I18N), described on pages 175 and 225. The IOStreams library, as it is described by the authors, is a better answer to my I18N - problems than all other three GUI - libraries I know. It offers more flexibility.

An other treasure was the techniqe of two-phase polymorphic dispatch described in this excellent book. This technique allows me a much more flexible design than in the past. If the customer asked for new features I often had to change my class hierarchy (and all classes in it) by adding new virtual functions. It is cumbersome if it is code of a library. The two-phase polymorphic dispatch shows an alternative.

The third (but not the last) treasure are the appendices. They are a good reference for C++ refinements.

The thought I perhaps would not have read this book worries me, I had missed a chance.

Many thanks to the authors writing such an excellent book.

Efficient C++ Performance Programming Techniques
by Dov Bulka, David Mayhew
Our Price: $34.95
Paperback - 336 pages 1 edition (October 22, 1999)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201379503 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.63 x 9.23 x 7.42 Sales Rank: 4,467

Average Customer Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars Based on 10 reviews.
4 of 5 stars Keys to acceptable C++ performance, January 4, 2001
Reviewer: [email protected] (see more about me) from San Gabriel, CA USA

The authors are developers of network and web server software for IBM. They specifically target performance issues related to C++ programming. The primary topics of discussion are constructors & destructors, virtual functions, return value optimization, temporary objects, inlining, memory managers, and reference counting. Learn how to create efficient constructor functions. Learn how to avoid the costly construction of temporary objects. The authors promote "lazy evaluation" and nail "useless computations" and "obsolete code." Algorithm and data structure discussions are referred to other standard references, however there is coverage of the STL structures (insertion, deletion, traversal, and find operations). An additional bonus is the excellent coverage of multithreading issues.
4 of 5 stars Recommended, with reservations, June 16, 2000
Reviewer: George Reilly (see more about me) from Seattle, Washington, USA
I thought the book a useful compendium of performance information, as far as it went: temporaries, constructors and destructors, virtual functions, inlining, reference counting, some STL, multiprocessor scalability, and system architecture dependencies. My reservations are the number of omissions (most of the Standard Library, space efficiency, exceptions, performance measurement, etc.) and the number of typos.

**** Effective C++ CD : 85 Specific Ways to Improve Your Programs and Designs (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series) ~ Usually ships in 24 hours
Scott Meyers / Software / Published 1999
Amazon price: $29.95
Collection and Container Classes in C++
Cameron Hughes, Tracey Hughes / Paperback / Published 1996



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Created May 16, 1997; Last modified: March 12, 2019