Teach Yourself

C++ in 21 Days,

Second Edition


This book is dedicated to the living memory of David Levine.


A second edition is a second chance to acknowledge and to thank those folks without whose support and help this book literally would have been impossible. First among them are Stacey, Robin, and Rachel Liberty.

I must also thank everyone associated with my books, both at Sams and at Wrox press, for being professionals of the highest quality. The editors at Sams did a fantastic job, and I must especially acknowledge and thank Fran Hatton, Mary Ann Abramson, Greg Guntle, and Chris Denny.

I have taught an online course based on this book for a couple years, and many folks there contributed to finding and eradicating bugs and errors. A very large debt is owed to these folks, and I must especially thank Greg Newman, Corrinne Thompson, and also Katherine Prouty and Jennifer Goldman.

I would also like to acknowledge the folks who taught me how to program: Skip Gilbrech and David McCune, and those who taught me C++, including Steve Rogers and Stephen Zagieboylo. I want particularly to thank Mike Kraley, Ed Belove, Patrick Johnson, Mike Rothman, and Sangam Pant, all of whom taught me how to manage a project and ship a product.

Others who contributed directly or indirectly to this book include: Scott Boag, David Bogartz, Gene Broadway, Drew and Al Carlson, Frank Childs, Jim Culbert, Thomas Dobbing, James Efstratiou, David Heath, Eric Helliwell, Gisele and Ed Herlihy, Mushtaq Khalique, Matt Kingman, Steve Leland, Michael Smith, Frank Tino, Donovan White, Mark Woodbury, Wayne Wylupski, and Alan Zeitchek.

Programming is as much a business and creative experience as it is a technical one, and I must therefore acknowledge Tom Hottenstein, Jay Leve, David Rollert, David Shnaider, and Robert Spielvogel.

Finally, I'd like to thank Mrs. Kalish, who taught my sixth-grade class how to do binary arithmetic in 1965, when neither she nor we knew why.

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This book is designed to help you teach yourself how to program with C++. In just 21 days, you'll learn about such fundamentals as managing I/O, loops and arrays, object-oriented programming, templates, and creating C++ applications--all in well-structured and easy-to-follow lessons. Lessons provide sample listings--complete with sample output and an analysis of the code--to illustrate the topics of the day. Syntax examples are clearly marked for handy reference.

To help you become more proficient, each lesson ends with a set of common questions and answers, exercises, and a quiz. You can check your progress by examining the quiz and exercise answers provided in the book's appendix.

Who Should Read This Book

You don't need any previous experience in programming to learn C++ with this book. This book starts you from the beginning and teaches you both the language and the concepts involved with programming C++. You'll find the numerous examples of syntax and detailed analysis of code an excellent guide as you begin your journey into this rewarding environment. Whether you are just beginning or already have some experience programming, you will find that this book's clear organization makes learning C++ fast and easy.


NOTE: These boxes highlight information that can make your C++ programming more efficient and effective.

WARNING: These focus your attention on problems or side effects that can occur in specific situations.

These boxes provide clear definitions of essential terms.

DO use the "Do/Don't" boxes to find a quick summary of a fundamental principle in a lesson. DON'T overlook the useful information offered in these boxes.

This book uses various typefaces to help you distinguish C++ code from regular English. Actual C++ code is typeset in a special monospace font. Placeholders--words or characters temporarily used to represent the real words or characters you would type in code--are typeset in italic monospace. New or important terms are typeset in italic.

In the listings in this book, each real code line is numbered. If you see an unnumbered line in a listing, you'll know that the unnumbered line is really a continuation of the preceding numbered code line (some code lines are too long for the width of the book). In this case, you should type the two lines as one; do not divide them.