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Exceptional C++ Paperback – 18 Nov 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (18 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201615622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201615623
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Aimed at the experienced C++ programmer, Herb Sutter's ExceptionalC++ tests any reader's knowledge of advanced C++ language features and idioms with several dozen programming puzzles and explanations. This is a book that can definitely help bring your C++ class design skills to the next level.

Based on the author's Guru of the Week Internet column, this book poses a series of challenging questions on the inner workings of C++, centring around generic programming with the Standard Template Library(STL), exception handling, memory management and class design. Even if you think you know C++ well, most of these problems will teach you something more about the language and how to write more robust classes that are "exception safe". Don't think this is just "language lawyering" though. The author's explanations stress sound programming principles (favouring simplicity) and idioms (such as the Pimpl idiom for class design that promotes faster compile times and better maintainability, or using "smart" auto_ptr's with STL.) Judging from the range and depth of these examples, Sutter's command of the inner workings of C++ is impressive and he does an excellent job at conveying this expertise without jargon or a lot of theory.

After reading this book, C++ designers will learn several "best practices" at how to write robust, efficient classes that are "exception safe" (meaning they don't throw any handled exceptions and don't leak resources). Chances are you'll gain a better understanding of memory management techniques and working with STL too. For the experienced developer seeking leading-edge knowledge of some of the best ways to use C++, ExceptionalC++ is both a challenging and truly worthwhile source of information. --Richard Dragan, Amazon.com

Topics covered: Advanced C++ programming tutorial, generic programming, tips for string classes, containers and STL, temporary objects, exception-safe code tutorial, virtual functions, class inheritance, the Pimpl idiom, namespaces, memory management, C++ memory areas, overloading new and delete, using smart pointer with auto_ptr, using const, casts and hints for better performance and code maintainability.

Review

"This book is a very valuable book for a wide range of C++ developers. The great thing about the questions and solutions dealing with exceptions is that they present the most important design considerations for creating *any* C++ class." -- Dennis Mancl, Lucent

"This book provides more techniques in solving real life problems in C++. The book is very well written and informative." -- John Kwan, Hewlett-Packard

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Thing with a hook on 21 Feb 2007
Format: Paperback
There seems to be a bit of confusion about what level this book is at. Based on some of the reviews I've read, I was a bit concerned that much of this book would fly right over my head, exploring advanced and obscure features. So let's get one thing straight: this is pitched at the same level as Effective C++, and has a similar structure and style.

And it's not just a 'puzzle' book - although it does highlight some tricky issues to do with templates and name lookup, which might conceivably appear in an unimaginative job interview.

And it's not just about the language feature of exceptions. All aspects of the language are covered, but the section on exceptions is particularly good.

Nor is it 'advanced' in the sense that many practitioners of C++ would consider, e.g. template metaprogramming, or non-portable hacks that take advantage of memory layout of compilers. Instead this is advice at an intermediate level, assuming you know the syntax and purpose of C++, but exploring their most appropriate use.

The structure of the book does involve a series of posed questions, but they differ wildly in how specific or general they are. You can see them more as a rhetorical device to frame the subsequent discussion, rather than questions you must answer (unless you want to retrospectively crown yourself guru of the week, of course).

Each question is followed by a significant discussion of a particular language feature, and summarised advice and recommended principles. Therefore the book is similar in structure to Effective C++. There is some overlap between the books, although even where similar material is included, there is differences in how much detail is given.

To some extent, this book is a victim of its own success. A lot of the advice given here can now be found in other books. But its legendary status mean that like Effective C++, this is still essential reading as soon as you've graduated from introductory tomes.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James on 2 Jun 2000
Format: Paperback
An extended and enhanced version of the Guru Of The Week (GOTW) series which Herb Sutter published on comp.lang.c++.moderated, this book details how to write truly solid code, particularly covering exception safety from a transactional viewpoint. It won't teach you C++, but if you know the language inside out, this book may well teach you how to use it to write better code.
As a book on how to improve C++ design and code, this is the best I've come across.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Feb 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. It is certainly one of the best C++ books I've ever read. The book adopts question and answer style. Each problem is tough. But by understanding of each problem and its solution, your understanding of C++ will certainly improve enormously. The discussion of the exception safety is unmatched by any other book I've read. The writing style is surprisingly easy to understand. The best way to read this book is probably going away to think about the problems before reading the solutions. You will be surprised by what you find in the solution (even Scott Meyers admitted that he was often caught). If you are serious about C++, this is a book you must have.
I would also repeat the warning given by the previous review. This is an advanced book. If you are new to C++, you will probably be bewildered by the problems and solutions.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
Not everything in this book is for the experts; I think even relative novices can get a lot out of this book (maybe not for real beginners though) because it shows best practice in "Do's and Don'ts" along with solid programming guidelines. For those more experienced programmers, there are correspondingly more challenging problems (ones that the novices of yesterday should revisit from time to time). Anyone serious about C++ development should read this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Feb 2000
Format: Paperback
The title and sub-title of this book are somewhat deceptive. Despite what it says, it more or less follows on from Scott Meyers Effective and More Effective C++ books. In particular it looks at the "gotchas" of the language - many more having apparently been introduced with the STL! The sub-title comes from the style of writing, which is not dissimilar to C++ FAQ by Cline. This is not just a puzzle book - it is about writing serious code.
The writing style is excellent. The book is not a difficult read, which is surprising for the heavyweight topics it covers.
One warning: buy this book only if you are good at C++. Even if you are good expect to learn a lot (unless your name is Stroustrup).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Willett on 10 Jan 2002
Format: Paperback
The book is worth the price just for the section on exception handling. Sutter's advice regarding assignment operators is truly unique. Very good indeed.
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