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Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example (C++ in Depth Series) Paperback – 14 Aug 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (14 Aug 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020170353X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201703535
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 1.9 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

If you don't have a lot of time, but you still want to learn the latest in C++, you don't have to learn C first. You might learn more by digging into existing language features and classes from the very beginning. That's the approach offered by Accelerated C++, a text that delves into more advanced C++ features like templates and Standard Template Library (STL) collection classes early on. This book can arguably get a motivated beginning programmer into C++ more quickly than other available tutorials.

What separates this title from the rest of the pack is that it jumps right in with samples that take advantage of today's Standard C++, from streams to built-in container classes such as vectors and linked lists. Early examples are more complex than in other books, but the thoroughness and relaxed pace of the explanations will bring the novice up to speed. (Though it ships at a slender 350 pages, Accelerated C++ is packed with samples, tips and example problems--about 10 per chapter.)

After a tour of basic C++, the book looks at more advanced C++ features such as templates, including built-in support for containers. Besides tapping the strength of Standard C++, you will also learn to design with your own templates. (Other tutorials would defer this material until later on.) The authors have tested the approach in the book in their own teaching and have honed a set of worthwhile examples that will help anyone get familiar with these powerful language features. All examples make use of the command line and console (without GUI programs), but the advantage is that this code should run on any of today's operating systems and compilers. Later sections cover the basics of class design, including good coverage of operator overloading and inheritance.

With its innovative approach to teaching the language, Accelerated C++ will challenge readers in the right way. It suggests you don't need to learn C to be productive in C++. Written in an approachable style, it deserves a close look from any C++ novice. --Richard Dragan

From the Back Cover

This is a first-rate introductory book that takes a practical approach to solving problems using C++. It covers a much wider scope of C++ programming than other introductory books I've seen, and in a surprisingly compact format.

--Dag Brück, founding member of the ANSI/ISO C++ committee

The authors present a clear, cogent introduction to C++ programming in a way that gets the student writing nontrivial programs immediately.

--Stephen Clamage, Sun Microsystems, Inc., and chair of the ANSI C++ committee

Anyone reading just this one book and working through the examples and exercises will have the same skills as many professional programmers.

--Jeffrey D. Oldham, Stanford University

Why is Accelerated C++ so effective? Because it

  • Starts with the most useful concepts rather than the most primitive ones: You can begin writing programs immediately.
  • Describes real problems and solutions, not just language features: You see not only what each feature is, but also how to use it.
  • Covers the language and standard library together: You can use the library right from the start.
The authors proved this approach in their professional-education course at Stanford University, where students learned how to write substantial programs on their first day in the classroom.

Whether you are eager to get started writing your first C++ programs, or you are already using C++ and seeking deeper understanding, the authors' unique approach and expertise make Accelerated C++ an indispensable addition to your library.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "jazepstein" on 9 Aug 2003
Format: Paperback
Before reading Accelerated C++, I had only a limited knowledge of programming, and knew nothing of C or C++. I tried a few other beginner books first, but found that they introduced new concepts without explaining them properly. The best thing about this book is that first come the examples, then the explanations. You're not inundated with technical details of a new concept, until after you're shown how it can be used in a practical way.
I've seen other books that try to teach you C++ from the ground up, not giving useful advice until they've bored you with pointers and memory management and so on. Let me say, the way these folks do it (high-level library functions first, primitive data structures later, then OO at the end) is surely the way to go. What's more, this book gets you in the habit of elegant, modular programming, although its main focus is on problem-solving, not style.
Not a chunky read, as programming books go, but every page is worth its weight in gold. The small size of the book (300-odd pages) reflects what I noticed throughout: an emphasis on quality, not quantity.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Thing with a hook on 9 Dec 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a tutorial book on C++, but it goes well beyond the basics. In fact, I'm pretty sure it covers pretty much every major language feature and implementation detail you need for robust C++ coding. As such, it merits re-reading as your understanding of C++ grows, and I say that as someone who rarely re-reads computer books. Don't worry - it packs all the important bits of C++ in under 300 pages. And allow yourself a smug pat on the back when you're confident about everything that's written here.

C++ books historically assume the reader is migrating to C++ from C, and adopt a 'ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny' style approach, introducing low level details from C, before the more advanced features. This has the effect of swamping a beginner with unnecessary complications, when in fact the abstractions of modern C++ hide memory managment and pointer issues entirely. The authors of Accelerated C++ have recognised this and introduce the likes of strings and vectors very early, so their examples actually do something practical. They use an extended example of keeping track of student homework records for many of these early chapters, and the skill with which they are able to slowly introduce new features as they extend the scope of the code is very impressive.

As a result, someone with experience of procedural programming can probably get through the first six chapters, which is just under the half the book. By which time, they've been introduced to the standard library's string class, plus various containers and algorithms. All this and not a mention of a pointer or a malloc.

After this point, however, the discussion becomes a little less hands-on, and focuses on defining your own types.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By psyquest@hotmail.com on 25 July 2001
Format: Paperback
I have a collection of C++ books, and none like THIS one. I bought it following the controversy it caused by its new approach to C++. While I believe that it might be ,at first, a bit steep for new learners, I think it is THE books to start with. You will get aquainted with essential skills in C++ (mainly the use of the highly portable STL)and quickly start writing effective, bullet proof programs. I will be buying all the books in the series including Modern C++ design and Strourstrup's manual...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By martin on 21 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amongst other things I'm a professional trainer, and I've been teaching technical subjects on and off for the last 24 years. I bought this book about a year ago because I'd been asked to provide C++ training and although I'd been teaching in C on and off I'd never delivered a C++ course.
I prefer shorter books that stick to the subject, this book does that at 300 pages. It excels at introducing the simple concepts at the start however it's a slave to its examples. This gives the book some problems as it attacks the more complex aspects of C++ as - although one can understand what is being taught, the slavish manner in which new concepts are introduced into the book's 'student grades' example leaves one floundering somewhat with respect to the 'framing' of the newly introduced concepts.
People learn most effectively when knowledge is 'framed' meaning its related to some (hopefully) more familiar concept. Clearly the authors understand this principle, and the 'student grades' program is meant to serve this purpose, however the book fails to really get the reader to understand how and where the knowledge provided fits into the spectrum of C++ knowledge rather than just the 'student grades' program.
The exercises are excellent but aside from the first few on each chapter I would judge that they are too difficult for 'normal' learners. The authors' attempt to introduce aspects of programming by forcing the reader to code up solutions that would be easy if you'd read on a couple of chapters. This is an approach often taken by academic's - the idea is that one appreciates the knowledge gained by understanding how difficult it would be if you didn't know it. To someone who wants 'accelerated learning' as the title of the book promises, this is soul destroying and a waste of time.
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