- Series: Unix/C
- Paperback: 186 pages
- Publisher: Computing McGraw-Hill (September 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0070296898
- ISBN-13: 978-0070296893
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Enough Rope to Shoot Yourself in the Foot: Rules for C and C++ Programming (Unix/C) Paperback – September 1, 1995
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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
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Next, I read Holub's patterns book, and found it excellent also. It's unusual that Holub's writing style has changed to suit the different material he covers. The compiler logic in the first book was well-known and highly technical, whereas the patterns book was highly abstract, with the relatively new concepts of patterns. I found it much more approachable than the Gang of Four book.
I couldn't resist reading another of Holub's books - this one. Again, Holub has changed his writing style. Reader's may think he's opinionated (something which is not evident in the two aforementioned books) but he admits he has personal preferences that may well differ from others. To avoid sounding opinionated, the author would have written "I think that...", or "In my opinion...", time after time, which would have made the material both weak and bloated. Better to take a stance.
Holub has done a great job with this book. I have read and re-read Scot Meyers' "Effective" books, which I've found excellent, although they vary a lot from Holub's book. But there is no reason why the books of the two authors need to be mutually exclusive. Holub has covered C, which Meyers' has not. I found Holub's book less technical, for the most part, but roughly the same when covering the more advanced C++ in the last part of the book.
C is still around, and many programmers, myself included, have had trouble learning C++. It's great that the author has covered both languages, and I think that you'll get insights into C that will help with C++. Overall, an enjoyable book, recommended to any C or C++ programmer. The material would be applicable to second or third year of a Computer Science Degree.
Okay, it is no Code Complete, but this book is an absolute gem. I have been programming C++ for about 6 years now (VB users be darned, it is my favorite programming language, period) and I was amazed how much I agreed with this author's advice.
Yeah, I learned a lot from Scott Meyers' canonical "Effective" books. But what I like about this book is that it is a no-nonsense, in-your-face, tell-it-like-it-is book that I think is essential for those wet-behind-the-ears C++ programmers (or those whiners who claim that C++ is too hard).
It will probably piss off a lot of Windows programmers as well as he is somewhat anti-Microsoft. However, I am primarily a MFC programmer and
what he says about MFC (earlier editions) and Windows programming in general is absolutely correct.
This book is a must for every novice C/C++ programmer. The experienced C/C++ programmers will probably tell you that they know all about this, so most of them will give it a pass. However, as a experienced C++ programmer, I think that they are making a mistake. They need to get this book on the shelf as well.
At the very least they can loan it to the beginners.
Use this book as a CORPORATE STYLE GUIDE FOR C & C++ PROGRAMMING. If you follow it and write easy-to-read programs, your employer will SAVE MONEY IN MAINTENANCE. I literally agreed with everything in this book - with one exception. He poo-poos working over 8 hours/day. I disagree. True, programming is creative work and you can burn out, but I find 10 or 12 hour days highly productive because people don't interrupt me, and I try to task switch enough to give myself breaks (or stare out the window blankly to do some subconcious-problem-solving).
In Short - Buy This Book, or borrow it - and save your employers money by creating simpler programs. You'll look like a star by creating something even a junior programmer can modify easily. If you're an expert C or C++ programmer, it's very worth it, too - you get another perspective on ease-of-use. I changed my mind and now will consider using const (I had only used #defines to simplify things - he made a good argument that the compiler is better than the preprocessor at catching brainfarts).
Also, If you can, give it to your manager. They need to know this stuff, too.
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He is a master of his craft and one of the few writers in the
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