The Design and Evolution of C++

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1994-03-29
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Written by the designer of C++, this book presents the definitive insider's guide to the design and development of C++, focusing on why the language is the way it is and how it came to be that way. Stroustrup describes the evolution of C++ from its first design to the language in use today, with insights into the aims, principles, and real-world constraints which shaped C++; the relationships between C++ language features and the design and programming techniques supported by C++; and the design of the latest language features: templates, exceptions, run-time type information, and namespaces. A must-read for every C++ programmer!

Author Biography

Bjarne Stroustrup is the designer and original implementer of C++, the author of The C++ Programming Language, The Annotated C++ Reference Manual, and The Design and Evolution of C++, and the consulting editor of Addison-Wesley's C++ In-Depth Series. Having previously worked at Bell Labs and AT&T Labs-Research, he currently is the College of Engineering Chair in Computer Science Professor at Texas A&M University. The recipient of numerous honors, including the Dr. Dobb's Excellence in Programming Award (2008), 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. 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.

Table of Contents

The Prehistory of C++
C with Classes
The Birth of C++
C++ Language Design Rules
Chronology 1985-1993
Interest and Use
Looking Ahead
Memory Management
Multiple Inheritance
Class Concept Refinements
Exception Handling
The C Preprocessor
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


"He who does not plow, must write." --Martin A. Hansen The ACM HOPL-2 conference on the History of Programming Languages asked me to write a paper on the history of C++. This seemed a reasonable idea and a bit of an honor, so I started writing. To get a more comprehensive and balanced view of C++'s growth, I asked a few friends from the early days of C++ for their recollections. That caused news of this project to travel through the grapevine. There, the story mutated, and one day I received a message from a friend asking where he could buy my new book on the design of C++. That email message is the real origin of this book. Traditional books about programming and programming languages explain what a language is and how to use it. However, many people are also curious about why a language is the way it is and how it came to be that way. This book answers these last two questions for C++. It explains how C++ evolved from its first design to the language in use today. It describes the key problems, design aims, language ideas, and constraints that shaped C++, and how they changed over time. Naturally, C++ and the ideas about design and programming that shaped it didn't just mutate by themselves. What really evolved was the C++ users' understanding of their practical problems and of the tools needed to help solve them. Consequently, this book also traces the key problems tackled using C++ and the views of the people who tackled them in ways that influenced C++. C++ is still a young language. Some of the issues discussed here are yet unknown to many users. Many implications of decisions described here will not become obvious for years to come. This book presents my view of how C++ came about, what it is, and what it ought to be. I hope this will be of help to people trying to understand how best to use C++ and in the continuing evolution of C++. The emphasis is on the overall design goals, practical constraints, and people that shaped C++. The key design decisions relating to language features are discussed and put into their historical context. The evolution of C++ is traced from C with Classes through Release 1.0 and 2.0 to the current ANSI/ISO standards work and the explosion of use, interest, commercial activity, compilers, tools, environments, and libraries. C++'s relationship to C and Simula is discussed in detail. C++'s relationship to other languages is discussed briefly. The design of major language facilities such as classes, inheritance, abstract classes, overloading, memory management, templates, exception handling, run-time type information, and namespaces are discussed in some detail. The primary aim of this book is to give C++ programmers a better idea of the background and fundamental concepts of their language and hopefully to inspire them to experiment with ways of using C++ that are new to them. This book can also be read by experienced programmers and students of programming languages and might help them decide whether using C++ might be worth their while. Acknowledgments I am very grateful to Steve Clamage, Tony Hansen, Lorraine Juhl, Peter Juhl, Brian Kernighan, Lee Knight, Doug Lea, Doug McIlroy, Barbara Moo, Jens Palsberg, Steve Rumsby, and Christopher Skelly for reading complete drafts of this book. Their constructive comments caused major changes to the contents and organization of this book. Steve Buroff, Martin Carroll, Sean Corfield, Tom Hagelskjaelig;r, Rick Hollinbeck, Dennis Mancl, and Stan Lippman helped by commenting on s

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