I Caved - Buying Books.

This is a discussion on I Caved - Buying Books. within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hi Folks, Is this one of those dreaded newbie posts saying, "What book should I get?"...No, I would have done ...

  1. #1
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    I Caved - Buying Books.

    Hi Folks,
    Is this one of those dreaded newbie posts saying, "What book should I get?"...No, I would have done that but someone warned me to search the posts rather than post the ever reoccurring question...But I do have another question. I notice a lot of people seem to like Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days by Jesse Liberty. Well...I opened an account with safari.informit.com but they don't have in 21 Days, rather they have in 24 Hours, but still by Liberty. Its around 300 pages shorter, but I'm guessing it'll do?
    Respectfully,
    David.
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    Its around 300 pages shorter, but I'm guessing it'll do?
    I think they have one that is called "Teach Yourself C++ in 24 Minutes". Why waste a whole day learning C++ when you can do it in half an hour?

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    I don't know about the "24 Hours" book, but I liked the "21 Days" book. It was easy to understand, and I liked the format with questions and exercises at the end of each chapter, and answers and solutions in the back. It helped me to structure my self-learning, and gave me feedback. Now, I use it as a handy reference. Of course it's not a complete reference, but when I need to look something up, I always look in "21 Days" first, because if the answer is in there it will be easy to find and easy to understand.

    Opions vary. Some people hate all of the "21 Days" and/or Sams books, including some of the best programmers that participate here... So, the best thing to do is to get your hands on a copy of any book before you buy it, so you can judge for yourself. Although I don't always take my own advice.

    [EDIT] -
    These books should really be called "...in 21 lessons". I think it took me 4-6 weeks to work-through the "21 days" book.
    Last edited by DougDbug; 12-15-2003 at 12:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Skunkmeister Stoned_Coder's Avatar
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    If you are serious about learning c++ then do not buy that book. Instead spend money on a good book such as accellerated c++ by Koenig and moo. That is probably the best c++ introduction. All of the 21 days,24 hours,in a week type books are about as good as the for dummies series. They are not worth the paper they are written on.
    Free the weed!! Class B to class C is not good enough!!
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    Hey Stoned_Coder, Please be specific. What is wrong with these books? Why do you recommend Accelerated C++? What makes it the "best introduction"?

    Hey moderators, why are there no recommended beginning C++ books on the books page?

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    The nice thing about Accelerated C++ is that it's thouroughly modern C++ with an emphasis on the stl and templates. It starts with the easy way to do things and then gets harder. The fact that the easy way is also the correct way is a bonus. It doesn't really teach you how to program, but I have never really seen a book that could do that.

  7. #7
    Skunkmeister Stoned_Coder's Avatar
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    Hey Stoned_Coder, Please be specific. What is wrong with these books?
    Mostly they seem to be written by someone who may know C++ but has absolutely no idea how to use it. They tend to be unstructured and superficial at best. Go into a good bookstore, go to computer section and leaf through one of the aforementioned books and then leaf through Bjarne Stroustups "The c++ programming language" and just notice the difference.

    Why do you recommend Accelerated C++? What makes it the "best introduction"?
    For the very reasons that grib states. It is a thourough modern introduction to c++ written by two excellent real world programmers who do know how to use c++ and more importantly how to teach others to use c++ properly.

    It doesn't really teach you how to program, but I have never really seen a book that could do that.
    Then go read Donald Knuth. "The art of computer programming" ( degree level maths understanding helps with this one).

    So just for you and anyone else considerring learning c++ what books I would recommended
    For starters....
    Acellerated c++ by koenig and moo.
    c++ primer by stanley lippman.
    the c++ standard library a tutorial and reference by nicolai jossutis
    c++ templates by vandervoorde and josuttis
    (the last two are more intermediate to advanced but are extrememly well written and cover in full what is missed by the above twosome)

    intermediate ( know c++ but need deeper understanding of language and design in c++)....
    Effective c++ by scott meyers
    More effective c++ by scott meyers
    Effective STL by scott meyers
    exceptional c++ by herb sutter
    more exceptional c++ by herb sutter
    The c++ programming language by bjarne stroustup
    c++ gotchas by steven dewhurst

    advanced......
    modern c++ design by andrei alexandrescu
    design patterns elements of reusable object oriented software by erich gamma and others
    advanced c++ idioms and styles by james coplien
    large scale software design by john lakos
    Free the weed!! Class B to class C is not good enough!!
    And the FAQ is here :- http://faq.cprogramming.com/cgi-bin/smartfaq.cgi

  8. #8
    Skunkmeister Stoned_Coder's Avatar
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    oops missed this beginner book freely available on the net.....

    Thinking in c++ vols 1&2 by bruce eckel. Download it from his site.
    Free the weed!! Class B to class C is not good enough!!
    And the FAQ is here :- http://faq.cprogramming.com/cgi-bin/smartfaq.cgi

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    Thumbs up Thank's for responding Stoned_Coder,

    Nobody ever seems to say why these books are bad... I liked the gentle "superficial" introduction to the language.

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    Originally posted by Stoned_Coder

    Then go read Donald Knuth. "The art of computer programming" ( degree level maths understanding helps with this one).

    MIXAL, cool, but that's really more along the lines of a graduation present for a gifted CS major rather than something to give an abosolute newbe who has just broken off the cup holder and get them to think like a programmer. Very cool books though, outstanding bibliography. You also can't just look up one thing in them, I started of looking for a coroutine snippet to post and ended up reading about threaded trees. It's been an hour and a half now.

  11. #11
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >Nobody ever seems to say why these books are bad...
    Because a line by line description of the flaws would take too long. Generally, bad C++ books will use the language poorly. While C++ is a multi-paradigm language, it is primarily object-oriented. Any good C++ book will emphasize that fact, and teach good habits. Most of the bad C++ books simply teach you C with a slightly different syntax, and good C style is very bad C++ style. Other bad C++ books are simply incorrect; they make assumptions about hardware and software, the author may clearly (to other programmers, but not to novices, which is very dangerous) not understand what he is trying to teach, or may know the subject matter, but have such a horrid teaching method that the result is the same.

    The details of how a book is bad are irrelevant. Accept that a book is bad, go learn from another and come back to it when you can recognize the bad parts. Then you'll understand.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

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    Good News!

    I was in the bookstore today and I saw that Sam's has a book titled: "Learn C++ in 10 Minutes". Now, there is no need to waste even half an hour learning C++.

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    Prelude,
    A one-word book review is useless. That's why I said a few words about the strengths of "21 Days" as a first C++ book, and warned that others recommend against it. Now, thanks to Stoned_Coder, when I recommend the book, I can warn that some find it superficial and unstructured.

    7Stud,
    Where can I get that "10 Minuites" book?

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    7Stud,
    Where can I get that "10 Minuites" book?
    I would wait. I'm think Sam's "Learn C++ in 24 Seconds" is coming soon. Ten minutes is too much to ask.

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    I actually bought the 10 minutes book a long time ago. I only had 10 bucks, and I wanted to step into the C++ world. It's short. It's not as detailed as the other larger primers, rightfully so of course, but I enjoyed it. If nothing else, it gave me something interesting to read while on the crapper

    -By the way, it's actually 10 minutes per lesson, and theres about 10-14 lessons if memory serves.
    Last edited by VaSH1053; 12-17-2003 at 01:00 AM.

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