So many books, so little time.

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  1. #1
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    So many books, so little time.

    After learning C++ enough to start writing things on your own...

    Seeing books 300-400 pages long written on 1 subject such as templates, kind of brings you down... you know?

    Its like these books are actually saying "You still don't know $$$$." even after you spent hours/days studying code.

    "Fundamentals, Sorting etc.." I even saw a book titled "How to NOT program in C++." I feel like I have to read every book out there before I can offically say, "Ok, now I can program something on my own." ... you know??

    Sure, I still write things on my own; but it just feels incomplete... like there is something I could have done better.

    Is this really necessary??

  2. #2
    Pursuing knowledge confuted's Avatar
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    No, you actually don't need books for most things. You can learn a lot about things from the internet. And, for example, you don't need to learn OpenGL and DirectX - just one of them if you want. Just learn stuff as you need it. If you want to become a "pro" in any one subject, buying a book could be worth it, but you certainly don't need to do so to program your own little stuff. As you program bigger things, you'll just pick up what you need as you need it.

    Trust me. It all gets easier quickly. Over the past three days, I've learned an insane amount about Direct3D. The last time I tried, I couldn't get anywhere.
    Away.

  3. #3
    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    I've found that books can be much easier to understand than online tutorials. Actually I only have one C++ book, but it is well-written and has helped me a lot as a reference. I would suggest searching through posts on books before you buy one and read the reviews on the book if you can as well. The thing that has hindered learning the most for me is just looking at text and code examples, so always try it out for yourself and see what you can program with what the book teaches.
    "Think not but that I know these things; or think
    I know them not: not therefore am I short
    Of knowing what I ought."
    -John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671)

    "Work hard and it might happen."
    -XSquared

  4. #4
    Pursuing knowledge confuted's Avatar
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    When using code from tutorials print the tutorial and type the code yourself. Even if it's 20 pages of code. You'll understand it better.
    Away.

  5. #5
    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    Originally posted by blackrat364
    When using code from tutorials print the tutorial and type the code yourself. Even if it's 20 pages of code. You'll understand it better.
    or better yet, read what the concept is and try and implement it yourself. when you encounter problems consult the tutorial code. always try to use the solution that makes sense to you. it will help you develop this skills to write programs when there are no tutorials around to look at.

  6. #6
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    I'm with JaWiB. Books don't disappear (unless you loan 'em out), or move around, or change like the web. It's often easier to "flip-through" a book to "re-find" find something that it is to re-find something on the web. And, you can highlight stuff, or mark pages with a post-it. (Plus, I'm on dial-up at home. )

    I wouldn't buy a book on a subject like "templates", but some subjects do require a whole book... Windows, OpenGL, DirectX, and many other subjects/areas that you may want to get deeply involved in. For example, I have a Windows Drivers book (which is beyond my level), and an Audio DSP Programming Book.

    I haven't found a single complete reference book yet (And I don't think there is one.) So, having a few books around is helpful when I need to look something up.

    You didn't say what book(s) you have now, One book that I would recommend as a "second book" is "The C++ Standard Library" by Nicolai Josuttis. He covers the Standard template library in detail, as well as some of the features of C++ that are additional to C.
    Last edited by DougDbug; 07-31-2003 at 07:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Pursuing knowledge confuted's Avatar
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    >>I wouldn't buy a book on a subject like "templates"

    >>One book that I would recommend as a "second book" is "The C++ Standard Library" by Nicolai Josuttis. He covers the Standard template library in detail

    Lol. here and here are some good tutorials/info on the stl. I don't know much from the stl, because I haven't found much of a need to know it... some of it is useful, of course, though. I still don't think you need a full book about just stl though - perhaps a book which covers them and some other things would be a good investment.
    Away.

  8. #8
    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    >>"The C++ Standard Library" by Nicolai Josuttis

    That is one I am considering buying, although its pretty expensive from what I've heard it would probably be worth it.
    The book I have now is Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days. It covers many aspects of C++ and explains them in an easy-to-understand way.
    "Think not but that I know these things; or think
    I know them not: not therefore am I short
    Of knowing what I ought."
    -John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671)

    "Work hard and it might happen."
    -XSquared

  9. #9
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    JaWiB,

    The "21 Days" book was my beginning book too!

    The Josuttis book isn't quite as easy to understand, and he doesn't have questions/exercises/answers/solutions. But it's more clearly written than most programming books (IMHO). And it's a really good reference for the subjects that it covers. It took me awhile to to appreciate the Josuttis book. I made the mistake of buying it from Amazon without looking at a copy first. At the time, I was looking for a book with all of the ANSI/ISO standard library functions.

    The Josuttis book together with "The C Programming Language" by Kernighan & Ritchie make an almost complete language reference.

  10. #10
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    The first (and only) C++ I've bought is called "C++ The Complete Reference, Fourth Edition". It has tought me an immense amount, and know I just don't want to go back to boring old C (although I have to on occasion as, for example, my living involves a lot of writing embedded software, which must be written in C as I normally have only a few hundred bytes of ram).

    The learning process isn't just in absorbing the information about the language though, most of it is learning when to use what - for example, when to use a vector rather than an array, and so on. These things are normally much better learned when done yourself, rather than someone else trying to tell you how to do it.

    Must say though, the book seems to cover pretty much everything in enough detail to build your own programs, experiment and basically learn everything you need about them (although if you don't like experimenting, it may not be the best). It contains a very good description of the STL however. I've not read all about the STL yet, but just read the basics of what each container can do, and then will read up on each container as I feel the need to use them in a project.

    Maybe the book made it easy for me to learn all about C++ because I have 10 years experience of C and various other languages. I don't know, different people require different books depending on there experience.

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