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The C++ Programming Language (3rd Edition) Paperback – June 30, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0201889543 ISBN-10: 0201327554 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 3 edition (June 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201327554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201889543
  • ASIN: 0201889544
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this brand-new third edition of The C++ Programming Language, author Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++, presents the full specification for the C++ language and standard library, a spec that will soon become the joint ISO/ANSI C++ standard.

Past readers will find that the new edition has changed a great deal and grown considerably to encompass new language features, particularly run-time type identification, namespaces, and the standard library. At the same time, readers will recognize the lucid style and sensible advice that made previous editions so readable and enjoyable. Probably the biggest change is a substantial new section, well over 200 pages in length, covering the contents and design of the C++ standard library, the most important new feature of the C++ specification. The author has also added a substantial number of new exercises while keeping many from previous editions that have retained their value.

While The C++ Programming Language is not a C++ tutorial, strictly speaking, anyone learning the language, especially those coming from C, will greatly benefit from the clear presentation of all its elements. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this book for anyone who is serious about using C++.

Review

Read the entire review, including a chapter-by-chapter analysis of this book.

Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Programming Language, Third Edition (Addison-Wesley, 1997) has been available for several months. This work, by the creator of C++, is the definitive treatment of the subject and has been since its first edition in 1987. I must confess that I did not care for the first edition. I had expected a tutorial approach as elegant as the classic K&R white book. But then, K&R was about C, a programming language that supported a familiar programming model. The C++ programming model was new to most of us ten years ago, and Stroustrup's first edition was daunting, to say the least. Looking at it now, I find it far less so and much easier to read.

Comparing the first and third editions of The C++ Programming Language provides insight into how the C++ language has grown and changed in the past decade. The third edition has almost three times the number of pages and a slightly different organization. Whereas the first edition included a 67-page language reference manual at the end, the third edition includes only a language grammar section to represent formal language definition. This is appropriate. The ANSI/ISO Standard document, which is now the formal language and library definition, is itself about 750 pages long. Stroustrup plans to publish The Annotated C++ Language Standard (coauthored by Andrew Koenig, the ANSI C++ committee's Project Editor) sometime this year.

The third edition takes a tutorial approach with many of Stroustrup's personal programming philosophies. The author's explanations of how he uses language features provide examples for learning the behavior of those features. He also explains code idioms that some programmers routinely use but that he finds inappropriate.

As much as possible, the third edition reflects Standard C++. When small language features are found to be missing, particularly new ones, Stroustrup pledges to add them to a future printing...

This book is an essential addition to a C++ programmer's library. It is not for dummies, and it wouldn't be my first choice for an entry-level, self-help tutorial on C++ for beginning programmers. It is, however, an excellent textbook for programmers who are self-motivated and students who study under the watchful care of a skilled instructor. As an experienced C++ programmer, I find the book useful as a reference to language usage and behavior. The author invented the language and then stayed close to the standardization and innovation process for the duration, always maintaining a careful vigilance over the evolution of his brainchild. Consequently, this book serves, for those who do not care to pore over the ANSI/ISO document (or the promised annotated version), as the authority on the Standard C++ language, how it works, and how you should use it. -- Al Stevens, Dr. Dobb's Journal -- Dr. Dobb's Journal


More About the Author

Bjarne Stroustrup is the designer and original implementer of C++.
He is a founding member of the ISO C++ standards committee and a major contributor to modern C++.
He worked at Bell Labs and is now a managing director in Morgan Stanley's technology division.
He is also a visiting professor at Columbia University and a distinguished research professor at Texas A&M University.
He is a member of the USA National Academy of Engineering, an ACM Fellow and an IEEE Fellow.
His publication list is as long as your arm. For details, see his home pages.

Customer Reviews

Great book, and I believe an absolute must for any serious C++ programmer.
Nathanbw
Every time I struggled with some aspect of the book, I realized once I understood it that Stroustrup had presented it in the best way possible.
Clayton
The code in this book is to the point and shows exactly what it means to in a very clear way.
Rusty Shackleford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

664 of 681 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is written in the way creator Bjarne Stroustrup sees his language and how his language should be used. This book is not thin on material for the intermediate to advanced C++ software engineer.
One word in warning to potential buyers: You better be sharp with your STL skills before reading this book. Stroustrup writes his implementations around the STL which is not covered from a tutorial style in this book before he introduces it, which tells you that he meant for this book strictly as a reference not as a readers book. This critism is constructive, not disruptive, but I have been programming in standard ANSI/ISO C++ for 9 years, this book is best understood if you read the following first, if not, this book for even an itermediate C++ program cannot be digested to the fullest and you will reading this book fooling yourself of how much knowledge you have attained, when in reality, all that you have accomplished is reading this book so that you can say that you read Stroustrup, which is foolish, so read these first:
1) C++ Primer 3rd Edition: Stanley Lippman Addison Wesley Books Strengths: If you are starting out with C++ with no C++ experience, this book covers every facet beginner to advanced topics, such as fundamental classes, class design covering nested class and intense class scoping rules, which Stroustrups book does not cover, there is no reference to nested classes and access privileges with nested classes with Stroustrup's book. The chapters on function templates and another chapter on class templates are the most complete and thorough beyound what you need to know for richness is explained brilliantly and better than scant coverage in Stroustrup's.
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116 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on December 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Bjarne Stroustrup's THE C++ PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE is ideal for those potential buyers who already know 75% of what is written in the book. But please note that this is not necessarily a put-down or a bad thing. This book is reference material for people who are already familiar with the concepts and syntax of C++. If you're looking to learn C++ from scratch, then run far and run quickly away from this book. On the other hand, if you're an experienced coder who's looking to remember specific details, or an intermediate who's looking for some nitty-gritty information, then this is a highly recommended reference book.
The writing is meticulous and often obscure. But Stroustrup packs in a lot of detail into every page. The example code is short and to the point. He assumes that if you don't get what he's talking about the first time, then further examples aren't going to help; and most of the time this assumption is justified, as his terse code manages to convey everything that it needs to.
You really do need to have experience with C++ to understand a lot of his examples though, as often he will casually mention a concept or function that he won't get around to defining for another few hundred pages. After all, most of the features in C++ interact heavily with other functions, so it's not really possible to explain some things without explaining their relationships (even if they are relating to things that the text has not yet brought up). But, as I said, this is reference material, and such conventions are allowable and, at times, encouraged. I am much happier with a book like this that gives me all of the detail necessary than an introductory book that would only offer simplistic explanations in the beginning while holding out for the details towards the end.
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89 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Clayton on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is inappropriate for a person who is new to programming. It is even more inappropriate for a quick-and-easy programmer who wants to learn practical skills as quickly as possible but lacks the interest and desire to achieve a high level of skill.
Bookshelves are overflowing with books for these two types of people. Instead of adding another title to that flood, Bjarne Stroustrup delivers a well-written, well-structured book that helps in a challenging area where good resources like this one are needed.
To those who dislike the writing style, I say "sorry, find another book." If you find the sentences hard to read, it is because they are written at a level of clarity and precision required by the concepts. If you find the concepts hard to understand, it is because they are presented with an insightfulness and thoroughness required by the academic/technical audience it is written for. This is neither your fault nor the author's: the book just wasn't written for you.
When I was learning C++, I also found this book difficult and challenging, but with effort I was able to read and understand it. The more I know, the more useful the book is to me, and the happier I am that I put in that effort. In a sense it is a complete reference not only to the language but also to the design paradigm(s) that inspired the language.
The concepts of OOP / generic programming aren't too bad at the surface level. But try and understand them enough to use them to construct complicated systems well, and they are genuinely hard. Every time I struggled with some aspect of the book, I realized once I understood it that Stroustrup had presented it in the best way possible. That's the best part of this book: you can trust that the author is guiding you from a position of knowledge and experience. But what else should we expect from the creator of C++? We are implicitly trusting him anyway by using his language.
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