Effective STL

Effective STL : 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of the Standard Template Library

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C++'s Standard Template Library is revolutionary, but until now, learning to use it well has been a challenge. In this book, best-selling author Scott Meyers exposes critical rules of thumb experts use to get the most out of STL. Using the same clear, concise approach that made Effective C++ so successful, he shows developers exactly how to unravel STL's complexities -- and leverage its full power.KEY TOPICS:The book is organized into 50 guidelines, each followed by specific examples and to-the-point explanations. Meyers offers advice on what should be done, and why -- and what should not be done, and why not. Effective STL offers in-depth coverage of iterators, containers, allocators, string implementation, function objects, algorithms, equality, equivalence, and more. Discover how to choose among standard, non-standard, and non-STL containers; how to properly use algorithms and member functions that have the same names but subtly different behaviors; how to avoid potential portability problems; and how to maximize the efficiency of both the STL and the programs that use it.MARKET:An essential resource for all C++ programmers.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 188 x 234 x 18mm | 586g
  • Addison Wesley
  • Harlow, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0201749629
  • 9780201749625
  • 99,306

Back cover copy

"This is Effective C++ volume three - it's really that good."
- Herb Sutter, independent consultant and secretary of the ISO/ANSI C++ standards committee"There are very few books which all C++ programmers must have. Add Effective STL to that list."
- Thomas Becker, Senior Software Engineer, Zephyr Associates, Inc., and columnist, C/C++ Users Journal

C++'s Standard Template Library is revolutionary, but learning to use it well has always been a challenge. Until now. In this book, best-selling author Scott Meyers (Effective C++, and More Effective C++) reveals the critical rules of thumb employed by the experts - the things they almost always do or almost always avoid doing - to get the most out of the library.

Other books describe what's in the STL. Effective STL shows you how to use it. Each of the book's 50 guidelines is backed by Meyers' legendary analysis and incisive examples, so you'll learn not only what to do, but also when to do it - and why.

Highlights of Effective STL include:

Advice on choosing among standard STL containers (like vector and list), nonstandard STL containers (like hash_set and hash_map), and non-STL containers (like bitset). Techniques to maximize the efficiency of the STL and the programs that use it. Insights into the behavior of iterators, function objects, and allocators, including things you should not do. Guidance for the proper use of algorithms and member functions whose names are the same (e.g., find), but whose actions differ in subtle (but important) ways. Discussions of potential portability problems, including straightforward ways to avoid them.

Like Meyers' previous books, Effective STL is filled with proven wisdom that comes only from experience. Its clear, concise, penetrating style makes it an essential resource for every STL programmer.
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Table of contents

Preface xi Acknowledgments xv Introduction 1 Chapter 1: Containers 11 Item 1: Choose your containers with care. 11

Item 2: Beware the illusion of container-independent code. 15

Item 3: Make copying cheap and correct for objects in containers. 20

Item 4: Call empty instead of checking size() against zero. 23

Item 5: Prefer range member functions to their single-element counterparts. 24

Item 6: Be alert for C++'s most vexing parse. 33

Item 7: When using containers of newed pointers, remember to delete the pointers before the container is destroyed. 36

Item 8: Never create containers of auto_ptrs. 40

Item 9: Choose carefully among erasing options. 43

Item 10: Be aware of allocator conventions and restrictions. 48

Item 11: Understand the legitimate uses of custom allocators. 54

Item 12: Have realistic expectations about the thread safety of STL containers. 58

Chapter 2: vector and string 63 Item 13: Prefer vector and string to dynamically allocated arrays. 63

Item 14: Use reserve to avoid unnecessary reallocations. 66

Item 15: Be aware of variations in string implementations. 68

Item 16: Know how to pass vector and string data to legacy APIs. 74

Item 17: Use "the swap trick" to trim excess capacity. 77

Item 18: Avoid using vector. 79

Chapter 3: Associative Containers 83 Item 19: Understand the difference between equality and equivalence. 83

Item 20: Specify comparison types for associative containers of pointers. 88

Item 21: Always have comparison functions return false for equal values. 92

Item 22: Avoid in-place key modification in set and multiset. 95

Item 23: Consider replacing associative containers with sorted vectors. 100

Item 24: Choose carefully between map::operator[] and map::insert when efficiency is important. 106

Item 25: Familiarize yourself with the nonstandard hashed containers. 111

Chapter 4: Iterators 116 Item 26: Prefer iterator to const_iterator, reverse_iterator, and const_reverse_iterator. 116

Item 27: Use distance and advance to convert const_iterators to iterators. 120

Item 28: Understand how to use a reverse_iterator's base iterator. 123

Item 29: Consider istreambuf_iterators for character by character input. 126

Chapter 5: Algorithms 128 Item 30: Make sure destination ranges are big enough. 129

Item 31: Know your sorting options. 133

Item 32: Follow remove-like algorithms by erase if you really want to remove something. 139

Item 33: Be wary of remove-like algorithms on containers of pointers. 143

Item 34: Note which algorithms expect sorted ranges. 146

Item 35: Implement simple case-insensitive string comparisons via mismatch or lexicographical_compare. 150

Item 36: Understand the proper implementation of copy_if. 154

Item 37: Use accumulate or for_each to summarize ranges. 156

Chapter 6: Functors, Functor Classes, Functions, etc. 162 Item 38: Design functor classes for pass-by-value. 162

Item 39: Make predicates pure functions. 166

Item 40: Make functor classes adaptable. 169

Item 41: Understand the reasons for ptr_fun, mem_fun, and mem_fun_ref. 173

Item 42: Make sure less means operator
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About Scott Meyers

Scott Meyers is one of the world's foremost authorities on C++, providing training and consulting services to clients worldwide. He is the author of the best-selling Effective C++ series of books (Effective C++, More Effective C++, and Effective STL) and of the innovative Effective C++ CD. He is consulting editor for Addison Wesley's Effective Software Development Series and serves on the Advisory Board for The C++ Source (http://www.artima.com/cppsource). He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University. His web site is http://www.aristeia.com.
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