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 Book Review: Exceptional C++ (C++ In-Depth Series)
See Also: Dr.Bob's Programming Book Reviews for numerous book reviews

C++ In-Depth
Here are some of the low-level hard-code C++ in-Depth books that are among our favorites.

October 1999

November 1999

December 1999

August 2000

Exceptional C++
I hate to admit that reading this book was a bit of a humbling experience. While reading it I sometimes wonder about the exceptional power of C++, while at the same time realizing how dangerous it can be in the hand of the unsuspecting. Even if it is not a very thick book, Herb Sutter succeeded in creating a usefull and entertaining on C++ and how to use it to do some serious software engineering. Like 'Guru of the Week, the book has a puzzle-solution format. If you take the time, you can mull a while over a problem, then read on and discover the solution. Many times, the solution is quite different from what you would think. Other times, you can only cover half of the mistakes Herb asks you to spot in a little bit of code.

Facts
Exceptional C++: 47 Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions is written by Herb Sutter. It is the second book in the 'C++ In-Depth Series' edited by Bjarne Stroustrup. The book is published by Addison Wesley, ISBN 0-201-61562-2.

Covered
The book consists of eight parts. The book starts with 'Generic Programming and the C++ Standard Library', which continas items on the C++ Standard Library and the Standard Template Library. The next part is 'Exception Safety Issues and Techniques', containing items on writing exception safe code. Then follows 'Class Design and Inheritance', 'Compiler Firewalls and the Pimpl Idiom', containing techniques to minimize compile-time dependencies; 'Name Lookup , Namespaces and the Interface Principle', 'Memory Management', followed by 'Traps, Pitfalls and Anti-Idioms', and closes with 'Miscellaneous Topics'.

Conclusion
I would like to say that this is one of the books that should be on the mythical 'standard issue list' of a serious C++ software engineer. In almost all items there is good advice to be found. In others, you will be pointed at the pitfalls of software engineering using C++. Even the experienced C++ programmer will benefit from reading and rereading it.


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