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on 2 March 2007
It's Sutter! It's Alexandrescu! It's both of them together! And the dark lords of C++ have combined forces to produce... er, some coding standards.

Yes, another book of best practices. Some readers may therefore be a tad disappointed that the combined fruits of the authors' labours will not be shattering their puny human minds with the sort of C++ that cause lesser compilers to accidentally create black holes that destroy the entire universe.

But let's evaluate the book on what it sets out to do, which is to give 100 bite-sized pieces of advice on C++ coding. And it's very good. You might prefer to see it as an annotated guide to the state of the art in intermediate C++ programming, in particular to Sutter's Exceptional C++ trilogy, which has become sufficiently sprawling that a reorganisation of the material, plus pointers to which book said what, has become quite welcome.

Yes, it's true that C++ is hardly short of books telling you when to pass by value. But take a look at the bibliography - it's a synthesis of all those other tomes (the Effective series, Sutter's own Exceptional series of course, and older books like C++ Strategy and Tactics) plus magazine articles, into a neat and compact whole.

Few of the items are longer than one or two pages. This is good because the advice stays simple, clear and direct. On the other hand, some of the items feel a bit squeezed into the available space, with discussion deferred to the books in the references, which is a little frustrating on occasion. After all, a lot of the best parts of the Exceptional C++ and Effective C++ series and their ilk is not so much what to do (or not to do), but the why behind it. There's plenty of the former, but not so much of the latter.

If you've read any other coding convention books (like those in Steve McConnell's Code Complete) then the first quarter of the book may feel like the same old same old. And of course with there being exactly 100 items, some are more heavyweight than others. But there's definite C++ meat here, in particular with the items on Exceptions and the STL.

C++ Coding Standards is as well-written as you'd expect from the authors - their friendly, slightly conversational writing styles mesh nicely and I couldn't tell who wrote which bits. And it's a great summary and unification of C++ best practices that someone just starting out could easily refer to in their initial forays. Perhaps even more experienced hands will discover a few tips, implications or issues that they hadn't considered before. It could also be a good way to ensure that a team are all up to date on best practices.

Essential for those with a large C++ library? Probably not, but it does the job it sets out to do very well.
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on 24 November 2014
This is a great book, it's not a reference book though.

Many C++ books are crap, they don't cross what I call "the Hello World gulf" this is the huge gap between examples and whatnot and actual programs and useful stuff.

This book helps the crossing. You should be okay on the Hello World stuff and just starting to write programs that do stuff (by this I mean have an IDE and GUI programs that respond to input, you know actual stuff - Eclipse CDT and WxWidgets FTW!) you'll pick this book up and find some of them are things you already do, or have already picked up without being told they are worthy of report.

The ones you don't know will be explained so well you can see why you'd want to do it that way.

There are other reviews praising this book already and I don't want to re-iterate those again (consider me in chorus with them though) this book is one of the best C++ books out there because it's actually useful in crossing that gulf.

Alec
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2012
I wanted to love this book, I wanted it to be a fantastic insight and to spur me to improve my own coding standards and drive document production to improve team productivity my end... I got it... I read it... And... Though some, few, items did come straight out of the text and input into my work many more of the items seemed very preachy, "thou shalt do it this way", when really there could be good arguments to the contrary.

The biggest problem with these preaching items was the general lack of code examples with them, and the generic descriptions given of a potential situation deemed requiring whatever the "standard" they are specifying, without any example code these items really came across as quite obtuse and without as much merit as those with code examples.

This is not to detract from those good items inside, and there are some, they usually have clear code examples are explained concisely without seeming to preach the author(s) ideals upon you. Many of these I identified with easily and will note them down for inclusion in my own work - this does make the book worth reading.

However, with a choice between this text or perhaps one from Scott Meyers, I would take Mr Meyer's books over this, even his older books eclipse this text with their given examples and concise presentation.

Another surprise with this book was its lightness, it is actually very thin, I had expected a rather more weighty tome. I don't know why I had this impression, perhaps because other AW products are weighty, but when this appeared and was a quite thin, smaller than A4 profile, floppy back (its not even soft back, its a floppy book) I was surprised.

I would have liked to perhaps give the book 3.5 stars, its more than just "ok" as it has input into my working practices, but its not worth the full "good" 4 stars rating due to the quality and the incessant nagging of some of the items.
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on 15 February 2014
There's a reason that this book is listed as one of the "must have" C++ books. It's not a book for learning C++ per sé, it's more focused on the people who already know C++, but want a resource for best practices when writing robust C++ code. The book itself is written as a list of in depth discussions about how to write great C++ code, and provides a brief overview of the problem being solved, a discussion of WHY the recommendation works, and also provides any exceptions to the rule.

Overall an excellent and easy to follow book, a must read for all levels of C++ programmer.
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on 24 January 2015
Bought this as final volume in set as present for my mathematician/programmer husband who loves the whole series and was thrilled to receive this - these books have kept him happy for years - only problem is finding him something comparable for next year!
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on 12 June 2012
This book is a collection of 101 rules, guidelines and best practices accumulated from various sources and bundled in an easy to read reference. I especially like the summary of summaries at the end, and try to check my code against the summary each time I write a substantial piece of code. Also, it makes it easy to communicate coding guidelines with your colleagues, you can just refer to a specific rule by its name - or even its number - and leave it up to your colleague to consult the book if he or she is not sure why that rule exists.

I can highly recommend this book to both novice and experienced C++ programmers.
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on 14 October 2015
Verry usefull.
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