Home > Articles > Programming > C/C++

A Tour of C++

  • Print
  • + Share This
C++ was designed to be a good tool for building a wide variety of systems and to allow a wide variety of ideas to be expressed directly. In this excerpt from his book The C++ Programming Language, Special Edition, Bjarne Stroustrup takes a tour of the basic features that make C++ such a great language.
This article is excerpted from Chapter 2 of Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Programming Language, Special Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2000, ISBN 0-201-70073-5).
This chapter is from the book

The first thing we do, let's kill all the language lawyers.

—Henry VI, part II

2.1 What is C++?

C++ is a general-purpose programming language with a bias towards systems programming that

  • is a better C
  • supports data abstraction
  • supports object-oriented programming
  • supports generic programming

This chapter explains what this means without going into the finer details of the language definition. Its purpose is to give you a general overview of C++ and the key techniques for using it, not to provide you with the detailed information necessary to start programming in C++.

If you find some parts of this chapter rough going, just ignore those parts and plow on. All will be explained in detail in later chapters. However, if you do skip part of this chapter, do yourself a favor by returning to it later.

Detailed understanding of language features—even of all features of a language—cannot compensate for lack of an overall view of the language and the fundamental techniques for using it.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account