C++ for Dummies?

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turtleman 101 May 22, 2005 at 01:43

I was just wonderin,I have no knoledge of C++ at all And I have just bought A book called “C++ for dummies” is this good for starting to learn C++?

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Reedbeta 167 May 22, 2005 at 04:35

That book will be fine to start with. Just work through it step-by-step, trying out the examples and exercises, and by the end you will have a basic working knowledge of C++.

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Ed_Mack 101 May 22, 2005 at 05:44

What’s most important is that you get practice typing and compiling. Then you’ll quickly start trying to do things, and be having fun whilst learning :)

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justdan 101 Jun 28, 2005 at 16:58

I’m just starting to learn c++ and I found that http://www.cplusplus.com is a great website and has a few free tutorials.

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bmxryder711 101 Jul 29, 2005 at 16:17

yeah, i was thinking about getting that book.. c++ for dummies. I hope its actually worth it!

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roxtar 101 Jul 30, 2005 at 02:24

I think from a beginner’s perspective that book will be fine. After finishing that maybe you can try something like : Thinking in C++ by Bruce Eckel. You can get the electronic version of the book from here : http://www.mindview.net/Books for free.

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Tufty 101 Jul 30, 2005 at 06:58

You might also want to try “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to C++”. It’s published by Alpha Books. I found that significantly more helpful than the textbook my uni recommended for my C++ Programming module, the author has a witty style which helped make the learning process easier for me.

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ravuya 101 Aug 01, 2005 at 03:59

The best book I’ve seen for C++ so far is the Thinking in C++ series. I think it’s available free on the web somewhere, but I prefer a hard copy.

Also consider going to a university bookstore and getting a textbook as soon as you get some experience – the “For Dummies” series and the like often glaze over technical details in the interest of getting you up and running faster (and they are usually rather general-purpose). This will often obscure things about C++ that will assist your development cycle.

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bmxryder711 101 Aug 06, 2005 at 15:11

I finially got around to ordering C++ for dummies.. when i get done it.. ill let u people know how it is.. :)

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trigger210 101 Aug 14, 2005 at 10:59

Im am going to buy that book soon.

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bramz 101 Aug 14, 2005 at 11:47

Starting with a book like that is just fine, but be prepared to buy something like Bjarne Stroustrup’s ‘The C++ Programming Language’ later on. It probably is a bit too hard for a beginner, but once you grow more into C++, you’ll find that your first book is lacking a lot of information. And that’s where Stroustrup comes in. A long time it stood by me as my C++ reference (Nowdays I mostly skip it and go to the standard right away … :) )

And when you master that one, you can buy books like The C++ Standard Library (though you can do without), Modern C++ Design (if you thought you knew C++, well, you did not! highly recommended), C++ Templates (to become a template master and guru), or any from the Exception C++ books by Herb Sutter.

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DownloaderKL 101 Sep 01, 2005 at 03:57

I’m a newbie C++ programmer too. I’ve been using “Sams Teach Yourself C in 24 hours” and I’ve found it extremely newb friendly. It explains why the example coding is what it is and what it does. I have “C++ For Dummies” and I was planning on following that once I’ve finished the prior book I stated. “C++ For Dummies” seemed to be a little more advanced than I could handle. And just on a side note so people don’t get mad…“Sams Teach Yourself C in 24 hours” stated in one of the first paragraphs that C++ was not intended to be learned in 24 hours. It has 24 chapters and each chapter is an “hour.” I’ve spent many more than 9 hours on C++ programming but I just finished chapter 9. I hope I was somewhat helpful. I highly recommend “Sams Teach Yourself C in 24 hours!”

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Daniel_MD 101 Sep 01, 2005 at 07:38

If you know OOP concepts then pick up the C++ syntax, have to say that it is a bit exoteric at times, heck then it’s all about ideas and getting that code down to bits and bytes.

Don’t get me wrong i have a huge library, and i read many books about programming, but reading all these books don’t make a better programmer, implementing an algorithm from some white paper, or coming up with optimizations or new ways of doing things is the only way to improve skills.

Most books don’t have any “real world” code, so you always get half the information, wend you try to implement some of the examples in these books and start testing them you get crashes memory leaks, the works. There are a few exceptions but most books are simply there for learning the basic syntax and some libraries, they don’t provide much food for thought or challenge the reader.

Never learned much than the basic from a book… programming is about getting down an dirty with code, and that’s all i have to say about that.

Any book is as good as the next, to learn the basics.

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bramz 101 Sep 02, 2005 at 19:08

@Daniel MD

If you know OOP concepts then pick up the C++ syntax, have to say that it is a bit exoteric at times, heck then it’s all about ideas and getting that code down to bits and bytes.

Don’t get me wrong i have a huge library, and i read many books about programming, but reading all these books don’t make a better programmer, implementing an algorithm from some white paper, or coming up with optimizations or new ways of doing things is the only way to improve skills.

Most books don’t have any “real world” code, so you always get half the information, wend you try to implement some of the examples in these books and start testing them you get crashes memory leaks, the works. There are a few exceptions but most books are simply there for learning the basic syntax and some libraries, they don’t provide much food for thought or challenge the reader.

Never learned much than the basic from a book… programming is about getting down an dirty with code, and that’s all i have to say about that.

Any book is as good as the next, to learn the basics.

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I think you have read the wrong books then :) Have you ever tried the In-Depth series? If you think you know C++ and templates, read “modern C++ design”. Then you’ll know you didn’t know anything yet. Policy driven design, anyone? Read those books by Herb Sutter, they are full of good practices. Some things are straight forward but most things you’ll never learn by “just getting dirty”. Of course, you still have to apply it to actually learn it. But if you never read them, you’ll never learn them.

But beware, those books I’ve just mentioned are not for “dummies”. If you’re starting C++ and you know already somewhat about C++, then you might also be interested in the Effective C++ books of Scott Meyers. They are not too hard, but still full of good practices. However, those you can also pick up on other places as well, but still highly recommended reads for anyone who is learning C++.

And there’s also the book by the Gang of Four (or GoF). That’s the book on patterns. While not really on C++, it also contains a lot of information you’ll never get by just getting dirty.

Bramz

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bramz 101 Sep 02, 2005 at 19:13

@DownloaderKL

I’m a newbie C++ programmer too. I’ve been using “Sams Teach Yourself C in 24 hours” and I’ve found it extremely newb friendly. It explains why the example coding is what it is and what it does. I have “C++ For Dummies” and I was planning on following that once I’ve finished the prior book I stated. “C++ For Dummies” seemed to be a little more advanced than I could handle. And just on a side note so people don’t get mad…“Sams Teach Yourself C in 24 hours” stated in one of the first paragraphs that C++ was not intended to be learned in 24 hours. It has 24 chapters and each chapter is an “hour.” I’ve spent many more than 9 hours on C++ programming but I just finished chapter 9. I hope I was somewhat helpful. I highly recommend “Sams Teach Yourself C in 24 hours!” [snapback]20659[/snapback]

I started with Sams Teach Yourself C++ in 21 days (well, 21 months would have been a more suitable title ;) ). While it is a fine book for anyone who is starting, it definitely does not contain enough information to get further. If you think that those books (= the Sams books, the dummies books) are showing their limitations, cannot longer answer your questions, then think of going further. Buy that Stroustrup book and it will be your reference for a few years. Then you ready to go further in more specialized C++ books.

Bramz

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DownloaderKL 101 Sep 04, 2005 at 21:47

I know :) I already have that and C++ for Dummies (which I’ll be starting next.) Learning is always more boring than making something and tweaking it until it works but you always have to start from the ground up, right?

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kamui4u 101 Sep 07, 2005 at 17:04

I like most of the O’Reilly books. currently im using practical C++ programming to relearn C++.

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Static29 101 Sep 09, 2005 at 01:51

man, i have that book, its not that good, wasn’t good for me, the author didn’t go into detail enough, after like 20 pages your going to be like “wtf”
get “c++ fundamentals” and some ebooks

edit: the c++ for dummies book i mean

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VividHazE 101 Oct 28, 2005 at 02:54

I learned C++ at University, which has just ended, and I realised that I never really learned anything useful except the basics.

I picked up the book “C++ How To Program” by Deitel, which comes packaged with a Lab Manual containing hundreds of self-check exercises to really enforce the knowledge that you are learning. It has been designed as a book to be used in University.

I read C++ For Dummies first and didn’t really learn anything new. When I got this book I noticed it went over the basic topics as well and I thought I was in for the same ride as Dummies, but I was mistaken! The detail and clever insight into all aspects of the language are very well documented and explained. The code samples are all in full colour with Syntax highlighting, as well as extra highlighting for new sections of code added as you go along so you know what to focus on in the next chapter.

Not even including the amazing Lab Manual, which runs in parallel with the actual book, the end of each chapter in the main book has a dizzying array of exercises that beat the knowledge deep into your skull! :wallbash:

The exercises arn’t just for a lab environment though, you create many different applications including card games, simulations, an online booking system using a C++ app with CGI, and an online transaction program.

I only wish I had picked up this book years ago.

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Hodge 101 Oct 28, 2005 at 04:08

It’s a good book, but there are better books available for begineers. C++ in 21 days is good for starters.

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moe 101 Oct 28, 2005 at 16:15

Whether a book is good or not is always a personal thing. I totally dislike the “for dummies” books. I’d rather buy “C++ in 21 days”. I bought “C++ in 21 days” as well as “java in 21 days” and I personally find both very good for starters.

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eddie 101 Oct 28, 2005 at 16:47

@bramz

Starting with a book like that is just fine, but be prepared to buy something like Bjarne Stroustrup’s ‘The C++ Programming Language’ later on. It probably is a bit too hard for a beginner, but once you grow more into C++, you’ll find that your first book is lacking a lot of information. And that’s where Stroustrup comes in. A long time it stood by me as my C++ reference (Nowdays I mostly skip it and go to the standard right away … :) )

bramz know’s what he’s talking about. Those two books are the foundation of any true C++ programmer. Josuttis’ book is my bible, and Stroustrup’s is the covenant.

It is a bit of a boring read if you’re not well versed in C++, but they teach you a large amount about the inner workings of C++, the different semantics, etc. I highly recommend them, at least as a reference!

Amazon bundles both of them together, and they’re probably the best purchase I’ve ever made.

That said, if you’re starting C/C++, I recommend you ask lots of questions. While a lot of the OO side of things is rather well done (IMO), there’s a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of confusing things for a novice programmer:

  • Various keywords (can you name all the different meanings/uses of static?)
  • Judicious use of virtuals (an important discipline for game programming, if you need to eke out speed)
  • Judicious use of templates (important for game programming on an embedded platform)
  • Proper memory management
  • etc.

Your best foundation is a good C++ forum… Try this one! :)