Summary and Info
Many of the reviews of this book mention the background of the reviewer.If you are considering learning C++ from this book, I suggest you consider carefully the reviews by those with a background close to yours. Payless attention to those with a substantially different background. But.read this review because I will try to offer several different perspectives.I earned my living from 1960 to my recent retirement programming digital computers of many kinds, in many languages, and for many applications,including about 15 years using C. I used this text in a just finished C++ course as part of my "mind rot delay program." I knew some things aboutC++, but had not used it.The instructor has taught the course for many years, and I believe has usedthe same text for several years. It seems to have passed the test of timefor that environment. The second sentence of the preface states "No previousprogramming experience is required." The school requires either a twosemester sequence of C programming, or a one semester C course for thosewith previous programming experience. The instructor said those withouta solid background in C would be lost. I do not know anything about theother students in the class, but almost half were gone by the final night.One of the good things about this book is the large number of completesample programs. These illustrate and demonstrate features of the language.You don't even have to type them in; you can get them from the publisher'sweb site. One of the bad things about this book is the large number ofcomplete sample programs. Often the portion of interest is two or threelines out of a page or two. The book is much larger than it could be.There are a few questions in the text, but not many. There are no problemsets or review questions to test your understanding. At the end of a fewchapters there is a suggestion to review certain topics. There are frequentsuggestions to play with a program, make changes and understand whathappens.Almost all the provided programs are complete in one file. Real C++ applications are usually file intensive, even more so than applicationswritten in C. Even toy homework problems from my class often involved five or seven files. The book is remarkably complete for a work aimed at novices. There areomissions, but most are minor. Some reviewers, and my instructor, saidthe coverage of member initialization lists is particularly weak.The Standard Template Library (STL) is one of the newer features of the language. It is covered in the longest chapter of the book, 46 pages. Other reviewers have complained that the coverage is scant. They are right. It is scant. The chapter is called "Introducing the Standard Template Library." The book explains a few of the container classes and a few of the operations you can do on them. The explanations are at a level similar to the rest of the book. It is enough to get you started. Similar operations on other container classes have similar names. There are several lists of function names with very brief descriptions. For an introduction, it is adequite.My instructor said it would take more than a semester to cover theentire STL. I think that would be a very dull class. Look through the STL from time to time; perhaps you will notice something thatseems useful. Then learn the immediately useful parts.Here is a tip that I learned the hard way. The functions listed inthe ALGORITHMS section of the STL are not member functions. You cantell if you study the sample program closely enough, but it is notclear from the main text.The preface promises you (the novice) will be an accomplished C++ programmer when you finish the book. I disagree. You may know a lotabout details of the language, but the book will not help you designa solution to a problem. Not recommended for a novice.If you have some experience programming in some language, the bookcould be useful. Read it while you rework the problems from yourold text, using C++. Warning: I'm not a teacher; this is just mysuspicion.The current edition is the Third Edition. Some of the reviews here seem tobe of an earlier edition. The Third Edition was published in 2003. That islong ago for many computer books, but the C++ standard has not changed since1998, except for some corrections in 2003. Most of the changes for the next version of the standard are expected to apply only to the library.
More About the Author
Herbert Schildt (born February 28, 1951) is an American computing author, programmer and musician. He has written books about the C and Java programming languages.
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