A note about Stroustrup’s The C++ Programming Language 4th Edition

As far as C++ books are concerned, this is the definitive reference, from the inventor of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup.  I grew up with his 2nd, 3rd, and Special Editions, and I highly recommend that you take a look at the 4th for its great C++11 content.

Now, I don’t recommend you buy it right away.  Yes, I know you may be surprised by that statement, but let me explain. Stroustrup is one of those authors that takes accuracy seriously.  Due to that, he tends to go through many “printings” of his books.   He makes changes (corrections) in each of these printings, based on reader feedback.

Take a look at the errata for his 3rd and special editions:

http://www.stroustrup.com/3rd_errata.html

He went through 21 revisions of the 3rd edition, and 14 revisions of the special edition (which was basically a continuation of the 3rd edition, except in hard cover).  So a total of 35 different 3rd editions when you include the special editions (disclaimer: some of these overlapped, i.e. there were early special edition printings equivalent to 3rd editions in higher printings, but you get the idea)

Why am I mentioning this?  Because the 4th edition is very young.  He’s already up to the 3rd printing after a couple of months:

http://www.stroustrup.com/4th_printing3.html

Also, complaints have been made about the flimsy (physical) nature of the original release of the 4th edition.  Yes, it’s a paperback.  However, it looks like Addison-Wesley has heard the complaints because a hardcover version of the book will be released on July 29th!

So I recommend you take a look at buying the hardcover version after a few months of revisions.  You’ll have the majority of “big” fixes, and then you can follow along the errata pages for future fixes.

How do you know what printing you’re going to get if you order from somewhere online?  It’s hard to know, you could get a very early one based on stock. But amazon tends to go through stock quickly.  Another thing you could do is to get one from your local bookseller, and take a look on the inside to see what printing you’re getting.

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About tedwvc
On this blog you'll find some tips and tricks for dealing with Visual C++ issues.

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