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Exceptional C++: 47 Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Herb Sutter

Aimed at the experienced C++ programmer, Herb Sutter'sExceptional C++tests the reader's knowledge of advanced C++ language features and idioms with several dozen programming puzzles and explanations. This book can definitely help raise your C++ class … see full wiki

Author: Herb Sutter
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
1 review about Exceptional C++: 47 Engineering Puzzles,...

Exceptional problems, exceptional solutions

  • Jan 31, 2000
In learning computing, the most prized element is a relevant problem with a detailed, understandable solution. Many studies have indicated that the skills gap between those who program adequately and those who are exceptional is enormous. Unlike some other areas, the gurus of computing are more often than not quite willing to share their expertise with others.
This collection of problems, derived from the C++ Guru of the Week newsgroup, collectively form one of the most valuable sources of real insight into the language.
C++ is often criticized as being a language that is full of potential problems of the "gotcha" variety. A "gotcha" problem is one where a seemingly logical choice can lead to a disaster. Many of these problems can be placed in that category, but to focus on that would miss much of what they can teach you.
The most significant point of the problems is that they teach you how to program many complex tasks in a manner that is truly safe from potential errors. All of the problems are tagged with a level of difficulty, although like most people, I consider that to be of dubious benefit, as there is an enormous difference in what programmers find difficult. In my opinion, the most valuable section of the book is the ten parts dealing with the creation of exception-safe code. While some do have trouble with it, most people find it easy to understand the fundamentals of what exceptions are. However, writing code that is safe from the unexpected consequences of a thrown exception is a decidedly non-trivial problem. Especially when the new and delete operators can throw an exception. The sections that deal with making new and delete exception-safe alone justify the purchase of the book.
When asked questions as to how they managed to reach their guru status, a common response is that they simply use coded solutions written by others that are known to be correct. If that were all it took to reach the level of guru, then this book would be a significant rung on the ladder to that pinnacle.

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