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In A Tour of C++, Second Edition, Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++, describes what constitutes modern C++. This concise, self-contained guide covers most major language features and the major standard-library components―not, of course, in great depth, but to a level that gives programmers a meaningful overview of the language, some key examples, and practical help in getting started.

 

Stroustrup presents the C++ features in the context of the programming styles they support, such as object-oriented and generic programming. His tour is remarkably comprehensive. Coverage begins with the basics, then ranges widely through more advanced topics, including many that are new in C++17, such as move semantics, uniform initialization, lambda expressions, improved containers, random numbers, and concurrency. The tour even covers some extensions being made for C++20, such as concepts and modules, and ends with a discussion of the design and evolution of C++.

 

This guide does not aim to teach you how to program (for that, see Stroustrup’s  Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++, Second Edition), nor will it be the only resource you’ll need for C++ mastery (for that, see Stroustrup’s  The C++ Programming Language, Fourth Edition, and recommended online sources). If, however, you are a C or C++ programmer wanting greater familiarity with the current C++ language, or a programmer versed in another language wishing to gain an accurate picture of the nature and benefits of modern C++, you can’t find a shorter or simpler introduction than this tour provides.

About the Author

Bjarne Stroustrup is the designer and original implementer of C++ and the author of  and  , among others. Having previously worked at Bell Labs, AT&T Labs - Research, and Texas A&M University, he is currently Managing Director in the technology division of Morgan Stanley in New York City. The recipient of numerous honors, including The National Academy of Engineering 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering “for conceptualizing and developing the C++ programming language,  Dr. Stroustrup is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an AT&T Fellow, an AT&T Bell Laboratories Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, and an ACM Fellow. He was voted into Electronic Design''s Engineering Hall of Fame in 2013. His research interests include distributed systems, simulation, design, programming techniques, software development tools, and programming languages, and he remains actively involved in the ANSI/ISO standardization of C++. Dr. Stroustrup holds an advanced degree from the University of Aarhus in his native Denmark and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cambridge University, England.

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
350 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Kent R. Spillner
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best book for experienced programmers to quickly learn modern C++
Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2018
This book is a great introduction to the latest features of the C++ language and standard libraries for experienced programmers. Although I would not recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn C++ as their first programming language (I would suggest this instead:... See more
This book is a great introduction to the latest features of the C++ language and standard libraries for experienced programmers. Although I would not recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn C++ as their first programming language (I would suggest this instead: Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ (2nd Edition) ), I believe this book is perfectly suited for programmers with several years experience programming in another language such as C, C#, Java, Python or Ruby. Also, this would be my first recommendation for people with previous C++ experience but who haven''t programmed in it recently (or for anyone who uses C++ regularly but in an environment stuck on C++98).

As Dr. Stroustrup explains in the preface, this book covers all the highlights from the latest versions of the language & standard libraries (C++11, C++14, and C++17). New language features are quickly introduced but in a very clear and logical order, and each new feature is clearly and concisely explained. The book also includes a wealth of good, practical advice on the issues of design, performance, and style, as well as plenty of sample code to help you better understand how or why all of these features can and should be used. I''m amazed at how much information is included in such a short book, without sacrificing readability and understanding.

I only have one minor complaint about this book: he also includes several new features that are expected to be included in C++20. The C++ standards committee is clearly working on several cool new features, and thanks to his explanations in this book I have a clear understanding of why these new features are important and how they can improve my own code, but it''s disappointing to have to wait a few more years to use them. (Sections discussing potential new features in C++20 are clearly marked as such, so we get to know exactly what we''re missing out on)
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SXX
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Modern C++ in a nutshell
Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2019
This book is less than 250 pages. It presents modern C++ features that come with C++17 together with some future (most likely) C++20 features (such as concept and span). It should take a couple of hours, or up to 2 or 3 days to read from cover to cover. The C++20... See more
This book is less than 250 pages. It presents modern C++ features that come with C++17 together with some future (most likely) C++20 features (such as concept and span). It should take a couple of hours, or up to 2 or 3 days to read from cover to cover. The C++20 features introduced in this book are nice preview to look ahead on the upcoming C++20 standard.

It best suits a former C++ programmer (C++ 98) to get a quick impression of C++ 17. It doesn''t not suit a programmer with zero C++ knowledge. This is not a C++ beginner''s book.

In essence, this book is <Modern C++ in a Nutshell>. Reading this book, you won''t become a master of modern C++, but you will be equipped with a fair amount knowledge in modern C++ so you know what-to-look-for, and when-to-look-deep.

Personally I wish the author could have discussed somewhat more on class invariant. I don''t have any other quibbles.
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BostonTech99
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The perfect book for people who already know C++
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2020
Bought the book because it came highly recommended by experts. Also the author, Bjarne Stroustroup, is the original author of C++. Who could POSSIBLY know C++ better than the author of the language? Well, no one. But the real issue from my perspective is: Does this... See more
Bought the book because it came highly recommended by experts. Also the author, Bjarne Stroustroup, is the original author of C++. Who could POSSIBLY know C++ better than the author of the language? Well, no one. But the real issue from my perspective is:
Does this book actually help a newbie learn C++?
The answer to that question, sadly, is NO. Prof. Stroustroup has written this book for C++ experts. He glosses over issues like--what operating system to use, what IDE to use, what are the differences between various C++ environments, what issues could trip-up a newbie programmer etc. The entire book is littered with 3-line code fragments that beautifully illustrate a specific language feature, but you cannot easily take those 3-line code fragments and do anything useful with them unless you''re already an expert C++ developer.
All this begs the question--why buy this book if you''re trying to learn C++. Let the experts buy it and heap 5* ratings on it.
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KIM
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
As brief a possible, but no briefer
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2019
Few authors have the respect for the reader and the confidence necessary to write books that are only exactly as long as they need to be. This book is another example from Stroustrup which models this ideal. I don''t hesitate to buy later editions of books I already own by... See more
Few authors have the respect for the reader and the confidence necessary to write books that are only exactly as long as they need to be. This book is another example from Stroustrup which models this ideal. I don''t hesitate to buy later editions of books I already own by Stroustrup since 1) they''re invariably the authoritative work on the subject and 2) its very unlikely to be a waste of my time.

This book does not attempt to teach programming with C++ but will give an existing programmer a select and concise overview of both previously existing and new C++ facilities.
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magon
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A must read for modern C++ programmers
Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2018
A solid overview of the modern C++ (17) by the venerable creator of C++ himself. An easy and engaging read, best read along with a compiler so you could type in the code snippets to drive home the various points the author is making. A concise book, most knowledge points... See more
A solid overview of the modern C++ (17) by the venerable creator of C++ himself. An easy and engaging read, best read along with a compiler so you could type in the code snippets to drive home the various points the author is making. A concise book, most knowledge points are just briefly mentioned, isolated points are seldom repeated, points building up upon each other are presented progressively with independent examples. Suitable for people who have old school C++ experience. For novices, better start with a tutorial first.

Very happy to have pre-ordered now seeing it is out of order. Only given 4 stars because of poor editing job by the publisher. Many typos for the first print, words like "ultimate" can be spelled wrong, where is your spell checker? Nevertheless, a book to be placed on the desk not the shelf, I would prefer and buy a hardcopy if it is available.
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Nick D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An excellent way to become familiar with modern (and future) C++
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2018
I majored in electrical engineering and worked three years in the aerospace industry. Between device-dependent embedded code and archaic ANSI C and C++0x environments, I had no idea what I was missing out on until now. I am currently in an industry that is a little more... See more
I majored in electrical engineering and worked three years in the aerospace industry. Between device-dependent embedded code and archaic ANSI C and C++0x environments, I had no idea what I was missing out on until now. I am currently in an industry that is a little more trusting of deploying products built on the latest compilers including most of these features. This perspective was really valuable to me because it gave me a high level vision for how all of the language features and standard library tools fit together. With wise use of the scope and std features you can pay such little performance penalties for massive improvements in code base size, clarity and resource management. I will be keeping this by my desk for reference.
11 people found this helpful
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R. D Johnson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Worthwhile upgrade to the First Edition
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2019
The first edition of this book covered C++ up to C++11. Now that I''ve moved to C++14, I decided it was time to buy the second edition, which covers up to C++17 and notes some of the upcoming features of C++20. If you like the first edition of this book, you''ll like the... See more
The first edition of this book covered C++ up to C++11. Now that I''ve moved to C++14, I decided it was time to buy the second edition, which covers up to C++17 and notes some of the upcoming features of C++20. If you like the first edition of this book, you''ll like the second edition even more. Going from 181 to 240 pages, all of the first edition content seems to be there, along with the same terse but informative information on the new C++ features. There is also expanded information on C++ usage in general.

For example, the old ''Classes'' chapter is now broken out into two, with an additional chapter ''Essential Operations'' added that covers both the newer copy and move references, as well as new material on resource management and conventional operations (eg container operations, etc.) reflecting the latest thinking on best practices with C++. The ''Templates'' chapter has been broken out to include a new chapter ''Concepts and Generic Programming'' covering generic programming and variadic templates. The Input and Output chapter has been expanded to include not just the new File System functionality, but also C-style I/O (and how to mix it in without too much grief). The ''Algorithms'' chapter now covers parallel algorithms from C++14 as well as Concepts from C++20. The ''Utilities'' chapter adds new depth on customizing allocators, as well as describing new features such as range checking (span) and alternatives (variant/optional/any). As before, the final ''History and Compatibility'' chapter lists the majority of changes between the major C++ versions, now up to C++17. Also as in the first edition, each chapter ends with a long list of Advice for best C++ programming practice, now updated to reflect the changes brought about by the new C++14 and C++17 methodologies.

As with the first edition, this book is not an introduction to C++ for beginners, nor a detailed reference. As an experienced C++ programmer, I use it mostly as a ''Pocket Reference'' to remind me of the often-quirky syntax required for a particular operation, or as a quick refresher of a particular C++ topic before I dig deep into "The C++ Programming Language" tome by the same author, cppreference.com, or Stack Overflow. It''s also fun to just flip through occasionally to remind myself of functionality this porcine language hauls around that I only use when the planets align...bitsets, I remember those, oh yeah, ofstreams, std::iota()? totally forgot about that one...
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reu das
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The "K&R" of Modern C++
Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2019
This book is short but philosophically dense, written in a conversational style which meanders seamlessly from topic to topic, all-the-while punctuated by references to other related areas of the book. I found myself following these subsections in a... See more
This book is short but philosophically dense, written in a conversational style which meanders seamlessly from topic to topic, all-the-while punctuated by references to other related areas of the book. I found myself following these subsections in a choose-your-own-adventure style after the first read-through.

Error handling is on page 35, RAII-style destructors are on page 51, and "Hello World" is on page 125 (essentially). And it works, because the author understands the material well enough to make everything flow intuitively.

The text is black, and the syntax is bold blue, and they both use the same nice-looking font. The formatting is top-notch.

The chapters conclude with a section of "Advice", which also summarizes the chapter in bullet-point format. These did not 100% match with my personal "Aha!" moments in the text: I used a red pen to underline key words and phrases to be easily found, but not distracting (as highlighting would be) on subsequent readings. I think the red/black/blue keeps it all nice-looking...

It was easy to get bogged down in some areas which were hard or not interesting but it''s there for a reason, and powering through helped prepare me for what was further in.

There''s only one other programming book I''ve enjoyed like this, hence the headline. I think this style of writing suits the same purpose as That One.
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Top reviews from other countries

Simon Booth
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Short and snappy overview of what constitutes C++ in 2019
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 17, 2019
Written as an intermediate level book between Stroustrup''s beginner level "Programming -- Principles and Practice" and expert level "The C++ Programming Language", this book introduces the core concepts and language features that define C++ with just enough explanation for...See more
Written as an intermediate level book between Stroustrup''s beginner level "Programming -- Principles and Practice" and expert level "The C++ Programming Language", this book introduces the core concepts and language features that define C++ with just enough explanation for a moderately experienced programmer to understand what they are used for and when to use them. As such it is probably the ideal book for somebody who is experienced with another language who wants to learn how C++ differs or implements similar concepts, or a programmer familiar with older C++ code who wants to learn what is new in the latest language revisions. The book is written with Stroustrup''s usual clarity and precision, and provides valuable insights into the language''s design and evolution from the horse''s mouth. "The C++ Programming Language" gives far more detail in this regard (occasionally too much), but as of writing it only covers the language up to C++11 whilst this book is fully up to date with C++17 and contains a preview of the likely features of C++20. If I was to fault the book at all it is that there is too much focus on "concepts" (the language feature) which are planned for 20 and hence aren''t likely available where you work, but I guess that will become less true with time so it''s probably good to have them explained somewhere. Whilst this an excellent overview, once you''ve read this book you will probably still want and need more information if you want to use C++ effectively. Scott Meyer "Effective C++" and "Effective Modern C++" are the obvious choice for that, and are widely acknowledged as The Bible for C++ programmers. After that, if you have a few years C++ experience under your belt and truly want to master the language then "The C++ Programming Language" is definitive. Maybe by then we''ll have a new edition for C++20 as well.
7 people found this helpful
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Skallagorm
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is an overview of modern C++, its emphasis is on tour more than in-depth.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 22, 2019
This is a clear and concise overview of how to use C++ as current programming language without being held back too much by its roots in C. Concepts are described at a relative high level. For an in-depth understanding of each language concept described you would need to...See more
This is a clear and concise overview of how to use C++ as current programming language without being held back too much by its roots in C. Concepts are described at a relative high level. For an in-depth understanding of each language concept described you would need to consult more thorough. To be fair, most the detailed material needed to complement this book is readily available on the Internet.
2 people found this helpful
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Dr Rob Baston
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best, from the best source
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2021
For those familiar with older versions of C++ wanting to be brought up to date with the extremely powerful additions to the language over the last 10 or so years, this is the place to start.
One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Best book for intermediate programmer
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2019
Best book for intermediate programmer. Introduces lots of the concepts that are being used more and more in other languages. Not front to back or syntax but as bjarne is famous for, explainative and comprehensive interesting read.
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komalkarir
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gets right to the point.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2020
As close to perfect as you will get in your journey towards learning C++.
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