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2.0 out of 5 stars Do not get into trouble, 19 Dec. 2000
This review is from: Debugging C]+: Troubleshooting for Programmers (Paperback)
THIS book is about Visual C, besides it is not indicated in the title.
It starts with a good advice that thoughtful coding is the best debugging technique and provides an idea of what makes a good code. However the reader should maintain critical attitude as for any "good advice". The next part gives an overview of common optimization patterns. Then comes description of the Visual Studio Debugger followed by a set of case studies revealing the process of locating some common bugs such as a memory leak or rounding errors due to implicit floating point to integer conversion. Some approaches specific to debugging ActiveX objects, using MFC debugging features, remote debugging, and inline assembler inclusions are presented.
The book never goes to deep, and to get a grip with a strange error message you are receiving, it is better to refer to a good C++ book, such as the classical one by Bjarne Stroustrup or even his recent "Design and Evolution of C++". Also mistakes and typos are eventually confusing.
To benefit from "The Troubleshooting" the reader should be experienced in C++ enough to withstand the aggresive style of the first chapters yet be new to Windows to keep interested while reading about programming and debugging with MFC. As a reward the reader will learn that MSVC compiler does NOT follow |register| storage class specifier and who invented the |lpszTitle| convention on variable names.
The book is cheaper than such titles as "Debugging Windows Programs" by Everett McKay and Mike Woodring or "Debugging Windows Applications" by J. Robbins but it will take you a couple of days to grow out of it, unless you are not going to teach students.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Outdated advice on 'how to program' and misleading title, 4 Oct. 2003
Paul Mitchell-Gears (Bogotá, Colombia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Debugging C]+: Troubleshooting for Programmers (Paperback)
To be fair, I have not read this book from cover to cover.
But I have read the section "debugging the STL", and have skimmed the rest of the book, and I was appalled at the generally low quality of writing and the outdated advice offered.
The book is clearly aimed at beginners, which makes its poor advice all the more dangerous. To quote just one example, the book suggests that although previous languages could be self-taught, C++ is different because it has many new and complex features to understand. In a section almost defying belief, the authors assert that the expression 'foo := foo + 1' can be rewritten fundamentally unchanged in most other languages, however you could be fired for writing this in C++ since the natural idiom in that language is 'foo++'.
Like all astonishingly bad pieces of advice, this does contain a core truth: C++ /does/ have many complex features compared to many other languages. But their conclusions are a nonsense; it makes it no easier or harder to self-teach rather than 'go on a course' than any other language. A great book such as Stroustrup contains all you need to know, and reading others' code is as always a great instructor.
Yes, it is true that the increment operator is more idiomatic C++. But the reason offered for prefering it ("it is compiled to more efficient machine code") is complete nonsense. Point 1: any modern compiler will optimise the longhand version to the shorthand anyway. Point 2: no decent programmer should concern themselves with such micro-optimisations! Concern yourself with quality algorithms; optimise where profiling shows a bottleneck. Point 3: This idiom is terser and is more natural C++. Prefer it for /that/ reason. Your code should be as naturallly readable to the next C++ programmer as possible. Point 4: No sane person would fire a member of their team for their choice of increment idiom. I suppose this was meant to be an "amusing" way of illustrating the point, but it just came across as childish and silly.
Finally for a book called "debugging C++" it makes almost no mention of the use that can be made of the debugger, and gives no advice on how to use this with the STL. This is no fault of the book of course, merely a misleading title.
If I can offer any advice to the potential buyer it is to give this book a wide berth; instead, buy one of the many great C++ books out there.
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Debugging C]+: Troubleshooting for Programmers
Debugging C]+: Troubleshooting for Programmers by William H. Murray (Paperback - 1 May 2000)
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