Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ISBN 0-201-73484-2

This entry is a book review of sorts, well it will be once I have read enough of C++ templates, The Complete Guide Addison Wesley. In a recent online tech-check test this was identified as a weak area in my C++ programming skill. Strangely I've built my own really big template classes, but was never sure of how I had gotten it to do my bidding, probably through pure patience?

I never learnt about templates untill a few years ago, probably because I am self-taught; and since few people write their own templates, prefering to just use STL and ATL without ever understanding how they work in reality, I was never forced into it. My interest arose out of the possibility to use templates to enforce project architecture, something I've been doing using straight C++ object principles, but I wanted something more, Templates! Like any challenge, this one stands like an Everest waiting for my flag a-top of it.

...ok, this book does something totally different, it covers the material twice, but from a totally different angle each time, because the two authors have differing agendas. This technique makes reading cover-to-cover difficult because you find yourself re-reading what you just read, but it does revise the ideas in a way that makes perfect sense. I'm at the stage where I want to see some neat tips I've picked out in practice before I dive into the last section of the book.

This book is an advanced coverage of the topic, anyone not totally happy with pre-processors, tokens, precedence and operator overloading should do some studying. That said it does cover all the beginner aspects of templates very well. For non-experts this book however looses its usefullness after part 1 untill you've progressed in the core C++ language.

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