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Sams Teach Yourself C++ for LINUX in 21 Days (With CD-ROM)

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3.5

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Do Not Buy This Book
Comment: This book is not Linux programming; it is C++ programming. There are 26 days of programming of which only 5 ( 22 - 26 ) are dedicated to Linux. If you are looking for a Linux dedicated book this is not it.

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Poor.. Very poor
Comment: This book is full of mistakes. It also begins by teaching you to program one way, and then tells you that this is wrong. I picked up this book as a refresher, because I have not done any C++ or UNIX in 10 years, but even I could pick out the mistakes in the book. It does not explain the important aspects of C++ very well, skipping over most things with just a cursory description of what is going on. Do not get this book..

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: Solid language tutorial, but not really dedicated to Linux
Comment: TEACH YOURSELF C++ FOR LINUX IN 21 DAYS, while it may seem the ideal book to the budding Linux programmer because of its size, is a poor book for the beginner, and indeed for most programmers hoping to use C++. The book is a so-so introduction to C++ the language, but doesn't offer any useful Linux-specific information (if you want to program in Linux, you probably already know what vi and emacs are, and how to open a command-line). The CD-ROM, containing a distribution of Mandrake Linux, is three years old and thus already ancient compared to today's Linux scene.

The book is not really a "21 day" course, but rather a course made up of 21 units. Some units are too big to tackle in one day, such as the chapters on references and error-handling, unless one has 8 hours to dedicate to this. I'd say three months is a reasonable amount of time to complete this book.

When this book came out, in 1999, the K Desktop Environment (KDE), programmed in C++, was the most popular desktop and thus budding programmers could find plenty of code to work with and improve. In the years since, however, the GNOME desktop, programmed in C, has gained ascendency among power users, and is now the default in many distributions. So, learning C++ on Linux nowadays as a first step in programming gives one very little to work with, as C is the primary language. While in many operating systems one doesn't have to learn C before C++, in Linux it is almost essential because the kernel, most if not all GNU software, and GNOME programs are all in C. So, for the beginning Linux programmer I'd advise first going through Sam's C FOR LINUX PROGRAMMING IN 21 DAYS. Afterward, one could use this book, or ideally a more Linux-centric book, to reap the object-oriented benefits of C++.

Unfortunately, it is quickly apparent that TEACH YOURSELF C++ FOR LINUX IN 21 DAYS is actually just Sam's TEACH YOURSELF C++ in 21 DAYS with a couple of token references to the GNU Compiler Collection, and a very out-of-date "bonus week" added. This becomes particulary obvious as every chapter has talks about how to compile each example on, of all things, DOS. Another problem stemming from the fact the most of the authors aren't Linux programmers, one that consistently shows throughout the book, is the authors' lack of familiarity with free software and the GPL. As a result, the chapter on software design shows a process best suited to the programming department of a corporation, where everyone can get together every morning to discuss the project, and this would not be very efficient in the Linux world of international contribution over distance. A glance at the authors' experience shows they may not be dedicated to ideals of the GNU Public License and open-source software, for example Jesse Libery is now consulting on the .NET project. I would urge anyone wishing to program on Linux to use resources written by actual Linux programmers.

Bottom line, get Sam's C FOR LINUX PROGRAMMING IN 21 DAYS first if you're a beginner. If you're an experience programmer who already knows C, this book may be helpful, but it has its problems.