Practical C++ Programming

By Steven Oualline

I bought this book in Lisbon in 1996 or so, when I was still an Oracle Software Engineer (or, in other words, a PL-SQL hacker), and wanted to learn C++. This book didn’t help me then, and now, when I want again to learn C++, but for a certain project, this time, it doesn’t help me either.

  • Author: Steven Oualline
  • Title: Practical C++ Programming
  • Pages: 557
  • Published: 1995
  • Publisher: O’Reilly
  • ISBN: 1-56592-139-9

Note that this notice refers to the first edition. A second edition has been published since, which may be more helpful.

The big problem with Practical C++ Programming is that is, to all intents and purpuses, Practical C Programming with a little something on the side named classes. There is, it is true, a chapter on exceptions and a chapter on templates, but those read like afterthougths. And there is no excuse to teach beginning programmers the rudiments of C instead of C++, especially when interleaved with little sermons on good programming practice. And Oualline never gets beyond rudiments, trust me on this. There’s a lot of text, but little content.

In particular, the programmer who still uses character arrays for strings when coding in C++ needs to be forcibily separated from his computer and perhaps hit repeatedly with a very large mallet.

I’ve ordered Accelerated C++, by Python luminary Andrew Koenig, in the full expectancy that it will prove to be far more useful for my purposes.