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Effective STL Book Review

I finished reading the last Effective C++ volume : Effective STL, Scott Meyers.

Again, this book follows the same model as the two others, providing several rules aiming at making you a better (more effective) STL programmer. All the items of this book are centered on the usage of the Standard Template Library (STL).

The first chapters (Containers) gives you several advices for using STL Containers. The main point of this chapter is about how to choose carefully a container for a specific use case. It also contains several advices on how to use them well regarding to performances and thread safety.

In the next chapter (vector and string), the author focuses on two specific containers : vector and string. There are some specificities on these two containers that can improve the efficiency of the program.

The third chapter (Associative Containers) is about the associative containers of the STL : set, map, multimap and multiset. It also contains some important informations about which methods to use for each usage in order to preserve the efficiency of each container. It will also explain you the very important difference between equality and equivalence.

The next one (Iterators) explains which iterators to use and how to convert iterators of one type to another.

The chapter five (Algorithms) describes the most important algorithms of the STL. There are tons of algorithms in the STL and using them can save you from writing a lot of boilerplate code. For example, you will learn the different sorting algorithms and for_each. I found that this chapter was especially interesting.

The sixth chapter (Functors) explains you how to create functors and predicates for using with STL classes. It also treats of the special functions to convert functions to functors.

The last chapter (Programming with the STL) gives you advices on how to use the STL to make easier the programming of concrete programs. It will teach you what functions to use, what headers to include and how to decipher STL-related errors.

I found that this book was really good, as good as the first one. The advices are very useful and easy to understand. Using this advices enabled me to improve my code and the efficiency of it. I will recommend this book to every C++ developers using the STL.


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