Inside the C++ Object Model 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0201834543
ISBN-10: 0201834545
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bestselling author Stanley B. Lippman's Inside the C++ Model provides valuable insight into some of the internal workings of the C++ language. This book is a product of a decade of research at Bell Labs (where Lippman worked with C++ inventor Bjarne Stroustrup) and Lippman's considerable C++ expertise. Written with the experienced C++ programmer in mind, this book looks at how key language features are implemented underneath the hood and provides some guidelines when designing C++ classes.

This title first examines how C++ objects work--showing the differences between C++ structures and classes. The author looks carefully at the varieties of C++ constructors, including default and copy constructors, data members, and initialization.

Subsequent sections cover inheritance, including virtual inheritance, and the inner details that will help you create effective and robust data types. The author frequently points out inefficiencies (and efficiencies) that can occur when instantiating objects. The book closes with a tour of more advanced C++ language features, such as templates, exception handling, and run-time type information. This book can help make you the resident C++ language expert at your programming shop. --Richard Dragan

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Inside the C++ Object Model is aimed at those developers who routinely use C++ but feel the discomfort of not really knowing the underlying weight of many common operations they perform or constructs they peruse.

A particularly fit subset of these programmers is made up of the hardcore plumbers who pay their bills writing C++-based programming tools and libraries, or those who assume the uneasy role of the "official code optimizer" in a medium-to-large development team. Each of these programmers are going to immensely appreciate the intensive coverage of the object-oriented features offered by the language, their run-time overhead (in terms of execution time and binary size), and their influence in compilation times. This knowledge constitutes a major aid when it comes time to decide whether a certain language feature fits your needs without breaking your requirements. Moreover, along the way the text is sprinkled with interesting anecdotes explaining why certain common myths regarding C++ are nothing more than unfounded rant. --Davide Marcato, Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books -- Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (May 13, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201834545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201834543
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael F. Maddox on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
...truly excellent. If you are seeking to truly UNDERSTAND C++, not just increase your familiarity with the syntax, INSIDE THE C++ OBJECT MODEL is one of the first books I would recommend reading. Stan Lippman, besides being one of the most C++ - knowledgeable humans on the planet, is an excellent writer. His style is quick, to the point, and non-repetitive (to some, this might indicate a difficult read, of course). INSIDE examines the features and additions C++ brought to the world of C - from the inside - demonstrating the creation of objects, instantiation of templates, and more through comparisons with C-based code generated by the CFRONT compiler. For the reader with a good, intermediate understanding of C++, this will be a revelation; seeing a representation of an object - its vtables and internal structure - as a construct that actually exists in memory is simultaneously enlightening and delightful. Few 1500-page texts TEACH so much as this book does in 270-odd pages. One of the best.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book has a very good explanation of the trade-offs involved in implementing C++.
Problem areas however are: * Cursory explanation of how templates, RTTI and exceptions are handled. * Reads more like a `cfront' rationale with examples from other compilers interspersed. That doesn't mean that the examples are limited. Just that it reads more like the author's experiences, rather than a totally objective view. * Doesn't clearly separate run-time effects that are artifacts of a particular implementation from things required by the Standard. * Lots of typos. Many of the figures don't co-incide with the text -- the text explains with one set of variables, and the figures show some other set, with some names transposed.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rui Jiang on March 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have thought that I had enough knowledge of C++, but after reading this book, I know I was wrong. Detailed discussion of constructor, data member, virtual table, multiple inheritance etc, there are a lot of mysterious details in C++ covered in this book. Yet this book is only 280 pages, which means there are very few redundant words seen in a lot of other tech books.

Recommend reading it with a compiler. I use Visual C to compile sample code and generate the asm file to see the real code compiler generates. It is rewarding.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Sugar on June 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you use C++ in real time environments, you need this book. Real time programmers need to understand "what is going on under the covers." This is really the only book I've found that explains it in depth.

Reading this book is important if you are trying to decide whether to code in C or C++. You need to understand the overhead of C++, where it comes from and, at times, how to avoid it.

When debugging an understanding of how the compiler translates C++ code into machine language is essential. Lippmans book does not delve into code generation but it does provide a framework for understanding how the C++ object model is represented in machine language.

I'll be the first to admit that Lippman can go off on to some arcane tangents. He can spend a few pages discussing details that really have minimal effect on code execution. But I'm willing to forgive these diversions because so much of his book has contributed to my understanding of C++ and how it works.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tanton Gibbs on November 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent in telling the underlying implementation of C++ and how the cfront compiler changed C++ into C. While this is not an everyday task and one that most people could care less about, it is truly one of the most important things you could learn because it shows an important comparison between the code you don't have to write and the execution time you lose. Every C++ programmer should have read this book at least 10 times to decide what structures should be used under what circumstances
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Welzel on May 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered how RTTI or virtual functions work? What are the rules for determining if a default constructor is provided. This book will answer those questions and more.
The C++ Object Model gets to the "how" of C++. It covers the details of how virtually (ha!) every language features is implemented and what rules a compiler uses to make decisions.
This book is not an easy read. You need to be very comfortable with C++ and be willing to work through lots of code. The explanations are ok, but could be a bit much if you aren't familiar with the full C++ lexicon. That said, if you want to take you C++ knowledge to a new level, this book is the ticket. There is nothing else like it available.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is the second book one should read after reading books like C++ programming language or C++ primer as first book on C++. This book is a complement to the above titles. It covers exactly that portion of the language which remains hidden in other books. The "real C++" is here, in this book. One cannot come across an equivalent of "Inside C++ object model". One cannot be a complete C++ programmer without knowing the facts mentioned in this book. It's unique in the sence that it carries with it irreproducible experiece and enjoyment Stan Lippman had while working on the wonderful C++ compiler. Reading the book was an unforgettable experience for me.
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