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Posted March 3, 2004
Insightful text, poor graphics
The best way to rate Stephen Prata's C++ Primer, Fourth edition, is to compare it to the classic 'C++, How to Program,' Fourth edition, by Deitel & Deitel. I find that there is a place for both on my bookshelf. Although both are books for the beginning to intermediate C++ programmer, there's a big difference in how they cover the material. Prata covers just about the same ground as Deitel & Deitel , but with a more conversational ease and natural flow. Reading Prata is almost like having someone explain a topic to you in person. Prata includes helpful notes, including the idiosyncracies of the popular compilers, that will save you lots of wasted effort, and maybe your sanity as well. Prata writes a book that you can read with ease, confident that he will get to all the important topics. It is all there, and very accessible. C++ Primer Plus, Fourth edition, could have earned a five star rating from this reviewer were it not for numerous typographical errors and exceedingly poor graphics. For example, Figure 13.5 (page 598), which attempts to provide a graphic overview of the important topic of Virtual Function Tables, is made unreadable by the application of a gradient fill which obliterates much of the text. Other diagrams in the book are similarly defaced by amateurish and inappropriate use of gradient fills and excessive borders. This is quite disappointing in a book that has undergone four editions and a second reprint, August 2002, 'with corrections.' Furthermore, there's no CD-ROM packaged with the Fourth edition, although example code is said to available at the publisher's website. In summary, this is an excellent text marred by poor production values (typos and illegible graphics). Never the less, it is exceedingly good at presenting the foundations and advanced topics of C++ in an accessible style. I highly reccommend this book.
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Posted June 24, 2011
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