Book Image

Beginning C++ Programming

By : Richard Grimes
Book Image

Beginning C++ Programming

By: Richard Grimes

Overview of this book

C++ has come a long way and is now adopted in several contexts. Its key strengths are its software infrastructure and resource-constrained applications, including desktop applications, servers, and performance-critical applications, not to forget its importance in game programming. Despite its strengths in these areas, beginners usually tend to shy away from learning the language because of its steep learning curve. The main mission of this book is to make you familiar and comfortable with C++. You will finish the book not only being able to write your own code, but more importantly, you will be able to read other projects. It is only by being able to read others' code that you will progress from a beginner to an advanced programmer. This book is the first step in that progression. The first task is to familiarize you with the structure of C++ projects so you will know how to start reading a project. Next, you will be able to identify the main structures in the language, functions, and classes, and feel confident being able to identify the execution flow through the code. You will then become aware of the facilities of the standard library and be able to determine whether you need to write a routine yourself, or use an existing routine in the standard library. Throughout the book, there is a big emphasis on memory and pointers. You will understand memory usage, allocation, and access, and be able to write code that does not leak memory. Finally, you will learn about C++ classes and get an introduction to object orientation and polymorphism.
Table of Contents (11 chapters)

Starting with C++

Why C++? There will be as many reasons to use C++ as there will be readers of this book.

You may have chosen C++ because you have to support a C++ project. Over the 30 years of its lifetime there have been millions of lines of C++ written, and most popular applications and operating systems will be mostly written in C++, or will use components and libraries that are. It is nearly impossible to find a computer that does not contain some code that has been written in C++.

Or, you may have chosen C++ to write new code. This may be because your code will use a library written in C++, and there are thousands of libraries available: open source, shareware, and commercial.

Or it may be because you are attracted to the power and flexibility that C++ offers. Modern high-level languages have been designed to make it easy for programmers to perform actions; while C++ has such facilities, it also allows you to get as close to the machine as possible, gives you the (sometimes dangerous) power of direct memory access. Through language features such as classes and overloading, C++ is a flexible language that allows you to extend how the language works and write reusable code.

Whatever your reason for deciding on C++, you have made the right choice, and this book is the right place to start.