Sunday, January 25, 2015

Effective Modern C++

I just finished reading Effective Modern C++ by Scott Meyers. Like his More Effective C++ and the original Effective C++ it's well written with good explanations and examples. This third book covers the latest C++ features in C++11 and 14.

It's been a long time since I read the first two books. Effective C++ was published in 1991! Back then I was writing fair amounts of C++ code. Nowadays the only C++ programming I do is maintaining the C++ implementation of Suneido.

I expected the new book to be similar to the previous ones - practical advice on how to effectively use modern C++. And there is lots of that. But it was also full of "gotchas" - things that won't compile (and give horrendous error messages), or compile but won't run, or compile and run but do the wrong thing.

C++ has always been a complex language and the new versions have only pushed that even further. If makes me appreciate the simplicity of the Go language which in some ways is a reaction to the complexity of C++.

Don't get me wrong, the new features of C++ are great, they improve the language in many ways. But my head is spinning with things like when perfect forwarding isn't perfect, when universal references aren't, and when uniform initialization isn't uniform.

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