[hcs-d] learning C++

Zak Stone zstone at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 14:21:07 EDT 2011


Hello everyone,

If you don't mind a provocative question, are those of you who have
invested the time to develop deep expertise with C++ _glad_ that you
did so? I recently noticed the following intriguing exchange on the
NumPy discussion list:

>> I've been slowly arriving to the conclusion that [there] is no place for
>> C++ in programming. If you really need to twiddle bits, use C. If you
>> need high performance numerics, use Fortran. If you need high level
>> complex data structures, use Python.
>
> It is sad that C++ takes 5 years to master, and this insight comes after
> using it for another 5 years or more. I regret ever learning C++, but
> how could I have known that in advance?

To be clear, I'm looking for insights, not a flame war. I would like
to understand the perspectives quoted above while recognizing that
tastes can reasonably vary.

Thanks,
Zak


On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM, Brandon Liu <bliu at college.harvard.edu> wrote:
> If you are most comfortable with Java, I would recommend C++ For Java
> Programmers: http://www.amazon.com/C-Java-Programmers-Mark-Weiss/dp/013919424X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302112713&sr=8-1.
> It does a good job of explaining the differences between Java and C++. (Like
> how class definitions differ, pass-by-value vs pass-by-reference, copy
> constructors, etc.) It's also pretty short (I think a little less than 300
> pages), so it'll give you a good primer for C++, without being too long.
> Great online resources:
> http://www.cplusplus.com/reference/ I use this site so much
> http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/ Awesome resource that explains a lot
> of things in C++ very well.
>
> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 12:55 PM, Leonardo de Nevi <ldenevi at fas.harvard.edu>
> wrote:
>>
>> Yeah, I'm with Greg.
>>
>> Pretty much any book written by Bjarne Stroustrup is good. I learned from
>> some book published in the late '80s. Then I got better reading this book:
>> The C++ Programming Language
>>
>> - Leo
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 4/6/2011 12:48 PM, Greg Brockman wrote:
>>
>> I learned C++ from the 1990 edition of the Annotated C++ Reference
>> Manual (http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-C-Reference-Manual/dp/0201514591).
>>
>> It's not for everyone.  It's probably not for most people in fact -
>> it's really an implementor's guide.  But it also goes through the
>> language semantics, design decisions (including pointing out those
>> where C++ chose wrongly), and gives implementation hints for things
>> like inheritance.  The biggest downside is that, being a language
>> reference, it has no information on the STL.
>>
>> I feel that most "learn a new language" books I've read try to teach
>> both the language *and* general programming at the same time - but at
>> some point, you really just want the former.  Highly recommend this
>> book to anyone who is looking for the former to an extreme.
>>
>> - gdb
>>
>> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 9:33 AM, Julia Winn <jwinn at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
>>
>> reply all please!
>>
>> On Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM, Robert Nishihara
>> <robertnishihara at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Anyone know of a good C++ book or of a good way of learning C++?
>> -Robert
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