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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ever so slightly less exceptional than before, 21 Feb 2007
This review is from: Exceptional C++ Style: 40 New Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems and Solutions (C++ in Depth) (Paperback)
I had mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, this is definitely a good book. You won't find a lot of the material here having filtered out to any other book yet. On the other hand, the actual content itself feels more ephemeral than the previous two installments. Personally, I don't have a problem with that; Sutter's work can be read perfectly well as a way to pick up the general principles of solid C++ engineering from an articulate, reliable expert, you don't need him to be spelling out everyday techniques to get something useful from his writing.

As an example, the items that I found most memorable included his investigation of how compilers failed to adhere to the standard when it comes to template friend function look up, with the surprising result that the normally reliable g++ is the worst offender. Additionally, he demonstrates several ways to call private member functions from outside of a class. I'm certain that fans of the last two books will get a kick out of this stuff, but it's not quite at the same level as his work designing for exception safety.

In addition to the usual question-essay-guideline format, the book has a substantial final section dissecting some failings of publicly-available code, which is where I assume the title of the book comes from. Those with fond memories of Tom Cargill's C++ Programming Style will definitely like this bit.

Despite the fact that the material is arguably slightly thinner than usual, the number of pages is actually up on the previous books. Sutter's writing style has also expanded. However, in a couple of places, the writing could have done with some editing. There are some witty asides and extraneous material that take up just a bit too much space.

Nonetheless, Sutter-nutters will probably not be too disappointed by Exceptional C++ Style. I still really enjoyed this book; reading it was time well spent.
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