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Murach's C++ 2008

 
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Author/s : Prentiss Knowlton
Publisher : Mike Murach & Associates
Category : C# and .NET
Review by : Campbell Ritchie
Rating : 9 horseshoes

C++ 2008 is a new language, using C++ and .NET combined. It has some new features, probably the biggest being its use of the .NET garbage-collected heap; it has an additional operator ^ and keyword gcnew for garbage-collected classes. The language uses properties, a for-each loop, and event handling with delegates, as in C#.

This book follows a common .NET book format, starting with a description of Visual Studio. It then introduces forms, and C++ code and control structures. It uses an object-oriented paradigm, and follows the "late objects" convention (many will know I prefer to introduce objects as early as possible). It shows how to create and enhance an application, with maybe a dozen exercises at the end of each chapter. It covers a wide range, but misses out pointer arithmetic. I was pleased to see exceptions, debugging, Visual Studio help, and the use of older C/C++ code was well covered, and the input validation section was much better than most books.

I thought its most impressive feature is the text, with its simple conversational style, and crystal-clear and easy to read, describing and explaining the associated code. It is a large paperback with clear print and many good illustrations.

I think people reading this book will have a programming background; although the book starts at a basic level, it goes quite fast and a beginner might prefer more detail. The programmer who wants to move to C++ and .NET will find this hard to beat, however.
 
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