Not volume 3 . . .

STL Advice Not for Every Programmer


Scott Meyers: Effective STL—50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of the Standard Template Library, 2001,Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-74962-9, 220 pages
reviewed by Conrad Weisert, September, 2009, ©Information Disciplines, Inc.


Over a decade ago we welcomed the publication of Scott Meyers's two collections of good programming practices in C++. Because of the similarity of titles and Addison-Wesley's packaging, one might assume that the STL volume is just part 3 in that series. It isn't.

The techniques Meyers presented in the earlier volumes are things every C++ programmer should know. It's reasonable to expect a professional programmer to understand, memorize, and routinely apply them. On the other hand a programmer is more likely to consult Effective STL when he or she encounters a particular situation that involves the flexibility and efficiency of internal container data structures. Very few programmers will attain a mastery of all or even most of the 50 techniques in this book.

Nevertheless Meyers's recommendations are, as always, excellent advice. This is a book that an advanced programmer should own and consult as relevant situations arise.

Effective STL is not an STL tutorial. It won't make sense to you unless you already understand the basic concepts of C++'s powerful but unintuitive Standard Template Library. When the STL was new, many books appeared to explain it to the experienced C++ programmer. I reviewed three of them at the time. But today many of those concepts have been integrated into introductory C++ textbooks, and you probably don't need a separate tutorial manual.


Recommended as a reference in the library of a very serious C++ programmer.

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Last modified September 1, 2009