Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Not For Beginners...
on 16 January 2018
I have had a love/hate relationship with this book since beginning it several months ago. I will be honest, I don't think Stroustrup is a particularly good teacher; I am not a complete beginner and yet I did struggle with some of the exercises, even early on. He has a tendency to introduce concepts in early chapters that aren't actually covered until later on in the book, leaving you with no idea why certain lines of his code exist. He is poor at explaining his source code in general and if you look at his github, he often uses concepts not yet introduced when tackling his own exercises. A lot of the explanations are too wordy, whilst others are too brief. It is easy to get lost in his 'simple calculator' chapters.
My main frustration with this book is the installation process required to follow chapters 12-16: you need to install FLTK as well as many files not specified anywhere in the book. There is a short appendix detailing the installation of FLTK but no explanation of how to get his GUI interface to work. I found a resource online that helped, but despite following all of the steps, I was left with 160 errors. I managed to fix many of these (many of which were down to mistakes in the downloaded such as commenting out required header files), but was left with 20 errors I couldn't fix; a beginner programmer, i.e. the target audience, should not be expected to do this.The entire process was a waste of 4 hours or so.
This has left me under half-way into the book, unable to complete the next few chapters. This is extremely frustrating considering the price I paid for this book.
However, some of the exercises are really good and I have definitely seen an improvement in my abilities since beginning and I will probably complete the book (providing I skip the next 4 chapters). It is just a shame because I had such high hopes for this book.