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Recommended readings for:

Beginning C/C++ Programmers
Intermediate C++ Programmers
Advanced C++ Programmers

For Beginning C/C++ Programmers


(4 planets out of 5)

How to Program in C
by H. M. Deitel, P. J. Deitel

Clear explanations for the beginner


     Some authors are great for explaining the technical nitty gritty of C.  These authors are great at just the opposite...providing clear and thorough explantions of the fundamentals of the language.

     In addition to getting the reader up to speed quickly, Deitel and Deitel also emphasize the importance of structured progamming and programming 'best-practices'.

     An excellent tutorial for the new C Programmer.



(4 planets out of 5)

Beginning Visual C++ 6.0
by Ivor Horton

C++ "Made Easy" is NOT an oxymoron in this case!


     It is difficult to write a beginner's book on a topic like C++, but Ivor Horton (who wrote a Beginning Java book which Planet Source Code also recommends) is up to the challenge.  If you are looking for a quick read, be warned--this tome is over 1,000 pages long!  But if you are a newbie with little or no programming experience, and are willing to invest the time required to master C++, this book will take you where you want to go.

     The book is split into two parts.  The first half concentrates on the fundamentals.  To simplify things as much as possible, all first-half applications are  console based MSDos apps.  In the second half, Horton takes the reader on a tour of the deep-end of the pool, with topics on the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and the Active Template Library (ATL).

     After reading this book and investing the time to follow the examples, a beginner can be confident in achieving a solid mastery of fundamental C++ skills.

For Intermediate C/C++ Programmers


(4 planets out of 5)

Intermediate MFC
by Vic Broquard

A practical guide to more advanced uses of the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC)


     So you've mastered the MFC and now you're ready to take it to the next level?  Then this book by Vic Broquard is the for you!

     The author shows you how to tackle advanced topics like image processing, enhanced metafiles, advanced printing, and advanced database access techniques.

     With numerous code comments and great diagrams, this book allows you to feed your need for MFC coding techniques! 


For Advanced C/C++ Programmers


(5 planets out of 5)

Advanced C++ Programming Style and Idioms
by James O. Coplien

Take your coding to the next level!


     This book is not for beginners!  If you don't have a solid understanding of classes, inheritance, polymorphism, etc. then you should choose one of the other recommended books above.

    However, if you are an advanced C++ programmer who is looking to take your skills to the highest level, then this book is for you!  The author, James Coplien, is a well respected systems architect with hundreds of thousands of lines of code under his belt, and his treatise reflects his truly vast field of experience.  Subjects include in-depth explorations of abstract data types, multiple inheritance, combining types in inheritance, virtual constructors, garbage collection and much more!

   This is one of the easiest to read advanced book of it's kind and is highly recommended! (5 planets out of 5)



(5 planets out of 5)

Building Object Applications That Work
by Scott W. Ambler, Richard S. Wiener

Absolutley brilliant tutorial on creating Object Oriented Systems.

wpe7.jpg (3511 bytes)


    All of the books in the Planet Source Code 'recommended readings' are best-of-breed tomes.  However, I am not exagerating in any way when I say that this book blows every other book I've read in the past 2 years completely away.

      Let me first warn you that this book is NOT a programming book--it is an OO book.  So if you still get confused when you hear the word 'method' instead of 'sub' or 'function',  or if you think 'inheritance' only refers to how much you can expect to receive from your favorite aunt when she dies, you are probably not ready for this one yet.  However, if you have a solid understanding of OO concepts and the experience to match, then this book can take your object designs, frameworks and implentations from the advanced level into the rarified air of the top 10% of all OO system designers and builders.

      Am I gushing about this book?  I probably am, but I feel it deserves it.  A reviewer from Amazon.com echoes my sentiment when he says, " When it comes to actually designing and implementing object technology, the second volume of Ambler's trilogy is undoubtedly the best book so far in the software development business."

   If you're a frequent reader of OO texts, you'll find that most are more like religious treatises on the benefits of OO, rather than pragmatic instruction on how to build real-world systems.  This book strikes a defiant stand against that trend.  From topics like 'How to build an A-class object framework' to 'Constructing superior diagrams', to "How to persist objects', this book delivers invaluable information that would take a new OO developer years to discover on his/her own.

   If there is anything bad to say about this book, it is that occasionally the reader is forced to endure a little bit more of Ambler's ego than would be desired.  (Let's put it this way...the guy created his own modeling notation and named it after himself)  However, in a genre where egos seem to run more rampant than rednecks do in the country-side, Ambler is hardly the worst offender (...right away, Booch comes to mind right away as being much worse...).

     So to summarize, this book is fantastic, and I heartily recommend it.  It will help almost every developer do his/her job much better than they are now.


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