Like other language guidebooks before it, Enough Rope to Shoot Yourself in the Foot
is set up as a series of numbered guidelines or rules for better programming. It covers both C and C++, and delivers the booty from Holub's ongoing battle with these important languages.
The material in the book is about evenly divided between C and C++. Each section dispenses general design and programming philosophy, followed by more specific programming information (about specific language features). The advice about general programming and design is the best thing in a very good book; the rules are relevant to any programming language, are sensible, and have enduring value: "If you can't say it in English, you can't say it in C/C++." "A problem must be thought through before it can be solved."
Many of the tips in this book fall into the areas of "programming style" and "subtle interactions." Holub suspects that many programmers are out there writing buggy C++ code: Either they're using language features they don't really understand or they don't take the time to do a real object-oriented design. This puts them in danger of writing "unmaintainable gobbledygook." He doesn't believe in using C++ as a better C. If you're going to use C++, use it whole hog and do good object-oriented design. "If it's not object- oriented, use C," he says...Read more from this review. --Doug Nickerson, Dr. Dobb's Journal -- Dr. Dobb's Journal