Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2009
The author states right near the front, on pg 2, that in order to keep this book down to pocket reference size it is not a detailed reference like  C++ in a Nutshell , nor does it cover C++ I/O streams or the C/C++ Standard Library. I fully agree on the necessity of that (the 'Nutshell' book is almost 800 pages), however, I would have found this pocket reference far more helpful if it had done two things differently:

1) Like a previous reviewer stated, include more examples. As my own example, the author does a good job of explaining some of the drawbacks of reverse iterators, as in this sentence: "The solution is to increment the reverse iterator, call base() to obtain the adapted iterator, and then pass the adapted iterator to erase." That's useful advice but--like a picture being worth a thousand words--a quick code example would speed up immediate understanding of the point being made, which is the purpose of a pocket reference. Code examples would also help clarify the often obtuse syntax of the STL. There are two reasons I pick up a pocket reference: to remind me what the name and operations of that call was to iterate backwards over a container, and to help me get the syntax right so the compiler stops whining. Unfortunately, the second part is missing from this pocket reference.

2) Include C++ ios_base. For one thing, the author already includes the basic_string template and I/O stream iterators. That's 2/3s of the way there already. From an academic standpoint, the ios_base stuff is low-level detail. From a practical programming view, I'm always referencing the ios_base format flags, open state, etc. when dealing with streams, even the STL I/O streams. It would be convenient if the necessary syntactical details were in the same pocket reference.

I don't regret buying this pocket reference. Like most of the O'Reilly pocket references, it's full of useful information. But I still need to refer to Stroustrup, the Nutshell book, etc. more often than not to really get a handle on exactly how I need to express my wishes to the compiler. Code examples would really help.
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