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This is a collection of articles from C++ Report. A big book at 500 pages, but well-read C++ users, even if they've never read The C++ Report, may have come across a lot of the material before.
All of Herb Sutter's contributions (apart from a parody article about a 'BOOSE' language) have appeared in his Exceptional C++ trilogy, John Vlissides' article turns up in Pattern Hatching (itself a distillation of his columns in C++ Report), three articles by John Lakos are a distillation of his Large Scale C++ Software Design, and Robert C. Martin's discussion of The Open-Closed Principle is reminiscent (although by no means identical) to his coverage of it in his Agile Software Development book. That makes up about a third of the book.
However, the rest of it was new to me. In addition to Herb Sutter's articles on exceptions, further treatment of exceptions is given in articles by Richard Gillam and Matt Austern. There's also coverage of the Monostate and External Polymorphism patterns, a couple of threading patterns by Douglas Schmidt and some architectural patterns: Taskmaster (for GUIs), and Alberto Antenangeli on object-relational mapping patterns.
The quality of the articles is uniformly high, but of course the book does not feel particularly cohesive, given the large number of authors and topics covered. I would not say that, from the perspective of 2007, there's insights here that you absolutely cannot find elsewhere. And to some extent, if you're sufficiently into C++ that you would consider buying this, you've probably got a lot of the books I mentioned earlier.
But taken on its own merits, there are lots of good articles covering lots of subject matter, including that oft-ignored topic in C++, threading. If you're a C++ junkie, and the compilation format of the book appeals to you, this is worth your time.
You can read the State Pattern in the famous "Design Patterns" book, but the article in this book, "Finite State Machines: A Model of Behavior in C++" by Immo Huneke, explains why the State Pattern is the way it is. That explanation was missing from the "Patterns" book. Also, Robert Martin's intro to this article was helpful. Mr. Martin mentioned he has a freeware "State Machine Compiler". I downloaded it, and it works! Really cool. This one article alone was worth the price of the book.
This book contains a number of very useful columns from the recently deceased C++ report. I found particularly useful the articles on implementation of assignment operators, exception safety, and the inner workings of the standard library containers (Gillan, Austern, Sutter). Actually, they are all really about exception safety - clues on how to write robust code that I needed to learn. The introduction to Lakos' Large Scale Programming tome was also a useful tipoff about physical architecture: I've been using Rational Rose for about 18 months, and now have a better overall picture about what the component diagrams are trying to do apart from represent the receptables my classes get put in. A rule one might apply is: if the cost of the book is less than your time spent to remove the errors you'd make if you didn't read it, then buy it. This one passes the test with ease.