C++ Without Fear: A Beginner's Guide That Makes You Feel Smart, 3rd edition

  • Brian Overland

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Learning C++ Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult!


Have you ever wanted to learn programming? Have you ever wanted to learn the C++ language behind many of today’s hottest games, business programs, and even advanced spacecraft? C++ Without Fear, Third Edition, is the ideal way to get started. Now updated for the newest C++14 standard and the free Microsoft Visual C++ Community Edition, it will quickly make you productive with C++ even if you’ve never written a line of code!


Brian Overland has earned rave reviews for this book’s approach to teaching C++. He starts with short, simple examples you can easily enter and run. Within a couple of chapters, you’ll be creating useful utilities, playing games, and solving puzzles. Everything’s simplified to its essentials, patiently explained, and clearly illustrated with practical examples and exercises that help you make progress quickly.


Overland reveals the “whys” and “tricks” behind each C++ language feature. And you’ll never get bogged down in complex or pointless examples: He keeps you 100% focused on learning what works and what matters—while having fun!


This new and improved edition

  • Covers installing and using the free Microsoft Visual C++ Community Edition—but you can use any version of C++
  • Explains valuable improvements in the new C++14 standard
  • Modularizes C++14 coverage so it’s easy to write code that works with older versions
  • Teaches with even more puzzles, games, and relevant exercises
  • Offers more “why” and “how-to” coverage of object orientation, today’s #1 approach to programming
  • Presents more ways to use Standard Template Library (STL) code to save time and get more done
  • Contains an expanded reference section for all your day-to-day programming

Whether you want to learn C++ programming for pleasure or you’re considering a career in programming, this book is an outstanding choice.

Table of contents

Preface xxiii

Acknowledgments xxix

About the Author xxxi


Chapter 1: Start Using C++ 1

Install Microsoft Visual Studio 1

Create a Project with Microsoft 2

Writing a Program in Microsoft Visual Studio 5

Running a Program in Visual Studio 5

Compatibility Issue #1: stdafx.h 6

Compatibility Issue #2: Pausing the Screen 8

If You’re Not Using Microsoft 8

Advancing to the Next Print Line 12

Storing Data: C++ Variables 16

Introduction to Data Types 17

A Word about Variable Names and Keywords 26

Chapter 1 Summary 27


Chapter 2: Decisions, Decisions 29

But First, a Few Words about Data Types 29

Decision Making in Programs 31

Introducing Loops 39

True and False in C++ 46

The Increment Operator (++) 48

Statements versus Expressions 49

Introducing Boolean (Short-Circuit) Logic 51

Introducing the Math Library 55

Chapter 2 Summary 62


Chapter 3: And Even More Decisions! 65

The do-while Loop 65

Introducing Random Numbers 69

The switch-case Statement 77

Chapter 3 Summary 83


Chapter 4: The Handy, All-Purpose “for” Statement 85

Loops Used for Counting 85

Introducing the “for” Loop 86

A Wealth of Examples 88

Declaring Loop Variables “On the Fly” 92

Comparative Languages 101: The Basic “For” Statement 96

Chapter 4 Summary 97


Chapter 5: Functions: Many Are Called 99

The Concept of Function 99

The Basics of Using Functions 101

Local and Global Variables 109

Recursive Functions 112

Games and More Games 129

Chapter 5 Summary 131


Chapter 6: Arrays: All in a Row... 133

A First Look at C++ Arrays 133

Initializing Arrays 135

Zero-Based Indexing 135

Strings and Arrays of Strings 144

2-D Arrays: Into the Matrix 152

Chapter 6 Summary 153


Chapter 7: Pointers: Data by Location 155

What the Heck Is a Pointer, Anyway? 155

The Concept of Pointer 156

Declaring and Using Pointers 158

Data Flow in Functions 165

Swap: Another Function Using Pointers 165

Reference Arguments (&) 172

Pointer Arithmetic 173

Pointers and Array Processing 175

Chapter 7 Summary 180


Chapter 8: Strings: Analyzing the Text 181

Text Storage on the Computer 181

It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got that String 183

String-Manipulation Functions 184

Reading String Input 190

Individual Characters versus Strings 197

The C++ String Class 201

Other Operations on the string Type 209

Chapter 8 Summary 210


Chapter 9: Files: Electronic Storage 213

Introducing File—Stream Objects 213

Text Files versus “Binary” Files 222

Introducing Binary Operations 225

Chapter 9 Summary 233


Chapter 10: Classes and Objects 237

OOP, My Code Is Showing 237

What’s an Object, Anyway? 238

Point: A Simple Class 241

Private: Members Only (Protecting the Data) 243

Introducing the Fraction Class 248

Inline Functions 251

Find the Greatest Common Factor 253

Find the Lowest Common Denominator 254

Chapter 10 Summary 267


Chapter 11: Constructors: If You Build It… 269

Introducing Constructors 269

Multiple Constructors (Overloading) 270

C++11/C++14 Only: Initializing Members 271

The Default Constructor—and a Warning 272

C++11/C++14 Only: Delegating Constructors 274

Reference Variables and Arguments (&) 281

The Copy Constructor 282

A Constructor from String to Fract 285

Chapter 11 Summary 286


Chapter 12: Two Complete OOP Examples 289

Dynamic Object Creation 289

Other Uses of new and delete 290

Blowin’ in the Wind: A Binary Tree App 291

The Bnode Class 294

The Btree Class 296

Tower of Hanoi, Animated 302

Chapter 12 Summary 311


Chapter 13: Easy Programming with STL 313

Introducing the List Template 313

Designing an RPN Calculator 323

Correct Interpretation of Angle Brackets 333

Chapter 13 Summary 333


Chapter 14: Object-Oriented Monty Hall 335

What’s the Deal? 335

TV Programming: “Good Deal, Bad Deal” 337

The Monty Hall Paradox, or What’s Behind the Door? 351

Improving the Prize Manager 353

Chapter 14 Summary 356


Chapter 15: Object-Oriented Poker 359

Winning in Vegas 359

How to Draw Cards 361

The Card Class 363

The Deck Class 364

Doing the Job with Algorithms 366

The Vector Template 371

Getting Nums from the Player 372

How to Evaluate Poker Hands 378

Chapter 15 Summary 387


Chapter 16: Polymorphic Poker 389

Multiple Decks 389

Switching Decks at Runtime 391

Polymorphism Is the Answer 392

“Pure Virtual” and Other Abstract Matters 401

Abstract Classes and Interfaces 402

Object Orientation and I/O 403

A Final Word (or Two) 410

An (Even More) Final Word 411

Chapter 16 Summary 412


Chapter 17: New Features of C++14 415

The Newest C++14 Features 415

Features Introduced in C++11 422

The long long Type 422

Range-Based “for” (For Each) 433

The auto and decltype Keywords 438

The nullptr Keyword 439

Strongly Typed Enumerations 440

Raw-String Literals 443

Chapter 17 Summary 444


Chapter 18: Operator Functions: Doing It with Class 447

Introducing Operator Functions 447

Operator Functions as Global Functions 450

Improve Efficiency with References 452

Working with Other Types 463

The Class Assignment Function (=) 463

The Test-for-Equality Function (==) 465

A Class “Print” Function 466

A Really Final Word (about Ops) 471

Chapter 18 Summary 472


Appendix A: Operators 475

The Scope (::) Operator 478

The sizeof Operator 478

Old- and New-Style Type Casts 479

Integer versus Floating-Point Division 480

Bitwise Operators (&, |, ^, ~, <<, and >>) 480

Conditional Operator 481

Assignment Operators 482

Join (,) Operator 482


Appendix B: Data Types 483

Precision of Data Types 484

Data Types of Numeric Literals 485

String Literals and Escape Sequences 486

Two’s-Complement Format for Signed Integers 487


Appendix C: Syntax Summary 491

Basic Expression Syntax 491

Basic Statement Syntax 492

Control Structures and Branch Statements 493

Variable Declarations 498

Function Declarations 500

Class Declarations 502

Enum Declarations 503


Appendix D: Preprocessor Directives 505

The #define Directive 505

The ## Operator (Concatenation) 507

The defined Function 507

The #elif Directive 507

The #endif Directive 508

The #error Directive 508

The #if Directive 508

The #ifdef Directive 509

The #ifndef Directive 510

The #include Directive 510

The #line Directive 511

The #undef Directive 511

Predefined Constants 512


Appendix E: ASCII Codes 513


Appendix F: Standard Library Functions 517

String (C-String) Functions 517

Data-Conversion Functions 518

Single-Character Functions 519

Math Functions 520

Randomization Functions 521

Time Functions 521

Formats for the strftime Function 523


Appendix G: I/O Stream Objects and Classes 525

Console Stream Objects 525

I/O Stream Manipulators 526

Input Stream Functions 528

Output Stream Functions 528

File I/O Functions 529


Appendix H: STL Classes and Objects 531

The STL String Class 531

The <bitset> Template 533

The <list> Template 534

The <vector> Template 536

The <stack> Template 538


Appendix I: Glossary of Terms 541


Index 559

Published by Pearson (December 20th 2015) - Copyright © 2016