Beyond the C++ Standard Library: An Introduction to Boost
Product Author Bios
Björn Karlsson works as a Senior Software Engineer at ReadSoft, where he spends most of his time designing and programming in C++. He has written a number of articles about C++ and the Boost libraries for publications such as C/C++ Users Journal, Overload, and the online journal The C++ Source.
Karlsson is a member of the advisory board for The C++ Source and has been a member of the editorial board of C/C++ Users Journal, where he is also one of the columnists in the Experts Forum. He participates in the Boost newsgroups and is one of the Boost-Users moderators.
Introducing the Boost libraries: the next breakthrough in C++ programming
Boost takes you far beyond the C++ Standard Library, making C++ programming more elegant, robust, and productive. Now, for the first time, a leading Boost expert systematically introduces the broad set of Boost libraries and teaches best practices for their use.
Writing for intermediate-to-advanced C++ developers, Björn Karlsson briefly outlines all 58 Boost libraries, and then presents comprehensive coverage of 12 libraries you're likely to find especially useful. Karlsson's topics range from smart pointers and conversions to containers and data structures, explaining exactly how using each library can improve your code. He offers detailed coverage of higher-order function objects that enable you to write code that is more concise, expressive, and readable. He even takes you "behind the scenes" with Boost, revealing tools and techniques for creating your own generic libraries.
- Smart pointers that provide automatic lifetime management of objects and simplify resource sharing
- Consistent, best-practice solutions for performing type conversions and lexical conversions
- Utility classes that make programming simpler and clearer
- Flexible container libraries that solve common problems not covered by the C++ Standard Library
- Powerful support for regular expressions with Boost.Regex
- Function objects defined at the call site with Boost.Bind and Boost.Lambda
- More flexible callbacks with Boost.Function
- Managed signals and slots (a.k.a. the Observer pattern) with Boost.Signals
The Boost libraries are proving so useful that many of them are planned for inclusion in the next version of the C++ Standard Library. Get your head start now, with Beyond the C++ Standard Library.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Essential for intermediate programmers using Boost,
This review is from: Beyond the C++ Standard Library: An Introduction to Boost (Paperback)This book is not just a rehash of the online documentation of the boost library. This book is way more than that, it's a why you should use these libraries and how to book. Not a how to write the libraries, or program in C++. As such this book is geared toward the intermediate to advanced C++ programmer who has heard about www.boost.org but isn't using all of the libraries yet.
This is not an unbiased review, as I reviewed the chapter on Lambda as I'm one of the original authors of the library. However I'm not on the payroll so you can trust me when I say, buy the book, you'll be glad you did.
Why should you care? Well boost is a proving ground for many of the upcoming C++ 0X standard libaries. Before the libraries get accepted by the standards committee, often there is reference implementation done for boost. And those that don't make the standard cut, well, often its not poor quality code, but rather a narrow focus library. Boost may have just the thing you... Read more
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
If you're not using Boost, you're not getting the most out of C++.,
This review is from: Beyond the C++ Standard Library: An Introduction to Boost (Paperback)All professional C++ programmers should become familiar with this freely available source of high quality, peer reviewed C++ code. Boost is a collection of libraries that are designed to complement the C++ Standard Library and provide very useful solutions to difficult program design tasks. This book is a very good introduction to Boost. There is an introductory chapter that gives a brief description of each Boost library (almost 60 of them as of version 1.32). Seven of these libraries have been accepted for the upcoming C++ Standard Library Technical Report which means that they will probably become part of the next version of the C++ standard. The remainder of the book gives a more in-depth tutorial introduction of a good sampling of 12 Boost libraries. This material complements the documentation on the Boost.org web site. It provides clear examples that illustrate the use and usefulness of each library.
My only complaint is that they didn't make the book longer... Read more
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
OK, but start with the boost site itself,
This review is from: Beyond the C++ Standard Library: An Introduction to Boost (Paperback)The book is well-written, clear, and honest to the title -- it truly is an intro. In fact, it's honest to the title a bit too much: I found it shallow. It is very much like most of the other recent C++ books (although it's one of the better-written ones), that is it has a distinct publish-or-perish taste to it, like a paper produced by another graduate student who doesn't really want to write it but has to. Not enough depth. It is, however, free from many sins of this PhD-indited flood: it's NOT pompous, it IS simple and clear, it has no pseudo-scientific pretense in it. I mean it's almost good; just not enough indepth.
Someone asked me recently, a bit confrontationally, well, you don't like anything, what's a good book then? No problem: books you tended to get a decade and more back; mostly written by practising professionals rather than CS PhD students; written by people motivated by either love of their work, or vanity, or greed -- all valid motivators, frequently... Read more
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Welcome to Beyond the C++ Standard Library: An Introduction to Boost.
If you are interested in generic programming, library design, and the C++ Standard Library, this book is for you. Because the intended audience for the book is intermediate to advanced C++ programmers, there is little coverage of basic C++ concepts. As the title suggests, the focus of this book is on the Boost librariesgeneral usage, best practices, implementation techniques, and design rationale.
Almost from the day I discovered Boost, the people behind it, and the extraordinary libraries in it, I've wanted to write this book. It is amazing that a language as mature as C++ still offers room for exploration into higher-level abstractions as well as technical detail, all without requiring changes to the language. Of course, this is what sets C++ apart from many other programming languages: It is specifically and intentionally designed for extension, and the language's facilities for generic constructs are extremely powerful. This exploration is at the core of the Boost libraries and the Boost community itself. Boost is about making programming in C++ more elegant, more robust, and more productive. As discoveries are made and best practices are shaped, a great challenge faces the C++ community; to share this knowledge with others. In isolation, there is limited value to these remarkable findings, but when exposed to a larger audience, a whole industry will evolve.
This book shows how to use a selection of the wonderfully useful Boost libraries, teaches best practices for their use, and even goes behind the scenes to see how they actually work. The Boost libraries' license grants permission to copy, use, and modify the software for any use (commercial and non-commercial), so all you need to do is visit www.boost.org and download the latest version.
For all the C++ Standard Library aficionados out there, it is well known that a new revision of the Standard Library is in progress. From a standardization point of view, there are three primary areas where the C++ Standard Library is likely to change:
- Fixing broken libraries
- Augmenting missing features to existing libraries
- Adding libraries that provide functionality that is missing in the Standard Library
The Boost libraries address all of these areas in one way or another. Of the 12 libraries covered in this book, six have already been accepted for inclusion in the upcoming Library Technical Report, which means that they will most likely be part of the next version of the Standard Library. Thus, learning about these libraries has excellent long-term value. I hope that you will find this book to be a valuable tool for using, understanding, and extending the Boost libraries. From that vantage, you'll want to incorporate those libraries and the knowledge enshrined within them into your own designs and implementations. That's what I call reuse.
Thank you for reading.
Table of Contents
About the Author.
Organization of This Book.
Introduction to Boost.
String and Text Processing
Data Structures, Containers, Iterators, and Algorithms
Function Objects and Higher-Order Programming
Generic Programming and Template Metaprogramming
Math and Numerics
I. GENERAL LIBRARIES.
Library 1: Smart_ptr.
How Does the Smart_ptr Library Improve Your Programs?
When Do We Need Smart Pointers?
How Does Smart_ptr Fit with the Standard Library?
Library 2: Conversion.
How Does the Conversion Library Improve Your Programs?
Library 3: Utility.
How Does the Utility Library Improve Your Programs?
Library 4: Operators.
How Does the Operators Library Improve Your Programs?
Library 5: Regex.
How Does the Regex Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does Regex Fit with the Standard Library?
II. CONTAINERS AND DATA STRUCTURES.
Library 6: Any.
How Does the Any Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does Any Fit with the Standard Library?
Library 7: Variant.
How Does the Variant Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does Variant Fit with the Standard Library?
Library 8: Tuple.
How Does the Tuple Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does the Tuple Library Fit with the Standard Library?
III. FUNCTION OBJECTS AND HIGHER-ORDER PROGRAMMING.
Library 9: Bind.
How Does the Bind Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does Bind Fit with the Standard Library?
Library 10: Lambda.
How Does the Lambda Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does Lambda Fit with the Standard Library?
Library 11: Function.
How Does the Function Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does Function Fit with the Standard Library?
Library 12: Signals.
How Does the Signals Library Improve Your Programs?
How Does Signals Fit with the Standard Library?
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