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C++ Primer (4th Edition) 4th Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342721485
ISBN-10: 0201721481
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"C++ Primer is well known as one of the best books for learning C++ and is useful for C++ programmers of all skill levels. This Fourth Edition not only keeps this tradition alive, it actually improves on it."
--Steve Vinoski, Chief Engineer, Product Innovation, IONA Technologies

"The Primer really brings this large and complex language down to size."
--Justin Shaw, Senior Member of Technical Staff, Electronic Programs Division, The Aerospace Corporation

"[It] not only gets novices up and running early, but gets them to do so using good programming practices."
--Nevin ":-)" Liber, Senior Principal Engineer (C++ developer since 1988)

This popular tutorial introduction to standard C++ has been completely updated, reorganized, and rewritten to help programmers learn the language faster and use it in a more modern, effective way.

Just as C++ has evolved since the last edition, so has the authors' approach to teaching it. They now introduce the C++ standard library from the beginning, giving readers the means to write useful programs without first having to master every language detail. Highlighting today's best practices, they show how to write programs that are safe, can be built quickly, and yet offer outstanding performance. Examples that take advantage of the library, and explain the features of C++, also show how to make the best use of the language. As in its previous editions, the book's authoritative discussion of fundamental C++ concepts and techniques makes it a valuable resource even for more experienced programmers.

Program Faster and More Effectively with This Rewritten Classic
  • Restructured for quicker learning, using the C++ standard library
  • Updated to teach the most current programming styles and program design techniques
  • Filled with new learning aids that emphasize important points, warn about common pitfalls, suggest good programming practices, and provide general usage tips
  • Complete with exercises that reinforce skills learned
  • Authoritative and comprehensive in its coverage

About the Author

Stanley B. Lippman is Architect with the Visual C++ development team at Microsoft. Previously, he served as a Distinguished Consultant at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL). Stan spent more than twelve years at Bell Laboratories, where he worked with Bjarne Stroustrup on the original C++ implementation and the Foundation research project. After Bell Laboratories, Stan worked at Disney Feature Animation, originally as principal software engineer, then as software technical director on Fantasia 2000.

Josée Lajoie is a staff development analyst in the IBM Canada Laboratory C/C++ Compiler group, and is currently the chair of the core language working group for the ANSI/ISO C++ Standard Committee. In addition, she is a regular columnist on the evolution of the C++ Language Standard for the C++ Report..

Barbara E. Moo is an independent consultant with 20 years' experience in the software field. During her nearly 15 years at AT&T, she worked on one of the first commercial products ever written in C++, managed the company's first C++ compiler project, and directed the development of AT&T's award-winning WorldNet Internet service business.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 4 edition (February 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201721481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201721485
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul M. Dubuc on April 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
It's too bad that Amazon has listed reviews here which apply to earlier editions of the book. This 4th edition is a very different book than the 3rd or previous editions. (Any review you see here prior to February 2005, when this edition was printed, doesn't apply to this book.) The front cover of this book says that more than 450,000 programmers have learned C++ from previous editions. I wasn't one of them, though I bought and started to read 2 previous editions in the attempt to be. I already new C very well and the approach taken in those editions bogged me down in too much detail that I already knew.

This 4th edition is a tremendous improvement over the others. The material has been completely reorganized and updated and is much more effectively presented. The text is sprinkled with highlighted tips, notes, warnings, and best practices that not only helpful in learning the material but in applying it well. Each chapter is summarized at the end and has a glossary of important terms and concepts. Exercises at the end of each section make this book a good candidate for classroom use as well as individual study. They even knocked 300 pages off the length of the 3rd edition!

If you want to learn C++ thoroughly and well using just one book, this is the book to buy.
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Let me state up-front that this is an indispensable book for me, and, as a reference, or as a source for expanding a basic C++ capability, it's easily worth 5 stars, not 4. In fact, as an intermediate-level C++ user, this is the most indispensable book that I have. I have 15 C++ books on my shelf, and this one (the fourth edition) is the most comprehensive, even surpassing Stroustrup's tome in most areas. (Stroustrup's influence on Primer is pretty obvious in spots.) The book's depth and its style of presentation, however, will mean that it's not the best primer for newcomers, and that's why I only gave it a 4-star rating. Look at the painting metaphor expressed on the front cover of the book. This book is more than a primer: it's a full pallet of colors, and as such is more than a beginner "painter" will be able to put to use quickly. I need to clarify what I'm saying here.

You might ask how a book can be the most comprehensive available without being longer in page count. The answer comes down to style. This book rarely expends space on full-length, executable code examples. The treatment of nine out of ten subjects offers only snippets of code - not complete executable examples. Many books offer examples that take up multiple pages for the code and multiple pages for the line-by-line explanations of the code. This difference in presentation is the single biggest reason why C++ Primer can offer so much more thorough coverage of C++ language features in fewer than 900 pages. The downside is, if you intend to learn C++, you absolutely must experiment with working code - there is no other way. The fact that this book does not offer much complete working code means that you will have to spend more time getting yourself set up to experiment.
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This is a great book for anyone who want to enhance his/her knowledge

on C++, but this is by no means a primer book. If you are new to C++,

read the book "C++ primer plus" first. It is so funny that the book

"C++ primer plus" (which is also a great book) is really an introductory

book. The names of these two books should be swapped because this book

introduces more advanced topics and the topics that an experience programmer should know but a student does not need to. From my teaching experience in a state university, I would suggest students to read C++ books in the following order:

C++ primer Plus

C++ Primer

Thinking in C++ (great book, free on the internet)

The C++ Programming Language (by Stroustrup)

Then you may want to read some books on special topics such as Visual C++, Database, etc.
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As pointed out in other reviews: compared to previous editions, the 4th edition of the "C++ Primer" is considerably different (and shorter). For this edition, Barbara E. Moo (co-author of "Accelerated C++"), a long-time programmer and writer, vastly revamped and enhanced Stan Lippman's (and Josee Lajoie's) classic.

The Good: This book is over 800 pages long, and it is quite complete in its coverage, but it is highly readable. The "C++ Primer" can be used as an introductory text: the authors have interspersed a myriad of code snippets throughout the text (which they also integrated into complete working programs; these are provided on the publisher's website, packaged for different platforms). Similarly, there are exercises at the end of most sections; these are well thought out, and greatly facilitate the reader's learning (unauthorized solutions exist on the web in the form of a wiki). Furthermore, throughout the book parts of the text have been highlighted to call attention to common pitfalls, good programming practices, and important concepts. Finally, each chapter concludes with a summary and a glossary of defined terms. In contradistinction to many other popular volumes, this book teaches real C++, not "C with classes", i.e., it contains extensive treatments of the standard library containers and algorithms, of object-oriented programming, and of generic programming. For example, the coverage of the standard library in this book is much more extensive than in "C++ Primer Plus" by Stephen Prata, a book that is often compared with (or confused with) the "C++ Primer". Even so, the "C++ Primer" also covers a number of older topics such as C-style character strings, lower-level bit manipulation of integral values, and old-style casts.
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