The development of C++ started in 1982 by Bjarne Stroustrup, a Danish computer scientist, as the successor of C with Classes. In 1985, the first edition of The C++ Programming Language book was released. The first standardized version of C++ was released in 1998, called C++98. In 2003, C++03 came out and contained a few small updates. After that, it was silent for a while, but traction slowly started building up, resulting in a major update of the language in 2011, called C++11. From then on, the C++ Standard Committee has been on a three-year cycle to release updated versions, giving us C++14, C++17, and now C++20. All in all, with the release of C++20 in 2020, C++ is almost 40 years old and still going strong. In most rankings of programming languages in 2020, C++ is in the top four. It is being used on an extremely wide range of hardware, going from small devices with embedded microprocessors all the way up to multirack supercomputers. Besides wide hardware support, C++ can be used to tackle almost any programming job, be it games on mobile platforms, performance-critical artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) software, real-time 3-D graphics engines, low-level hardware drivers, entire operating systems, and so on. The performance of C++ programs is hard to match with any other programming language, and as such, it is the de facto language for writing fast, powerful, and enterprise-class object-oriented programs. As popular as C++ has become, the language is surprisingly difficult to grasp in full. There are simple, but powerful, techniques that professional C++ programmers use that don ’ t show up in traditional texts, and there are useful parts of C++ that remain a mystery even to experienced C++ programmers.
Too often, programming books focus on the syntax of the language instead of its real-world use. The typical C++ text introduces a major part of the language in each chapter, explaining the syntax and providing an example. Professional C++ does not follow this pattern. Instead of giving you just the nuts and bolts of the language with little practical context, this book will teach you how to use C++ in the real world. It will show you the little-known features that will make your life easier, as well as the programming techniques that separate novices from professional programmers.
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