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Best C++ Documentation

C++ is not an easy programming language to learn and understand. It’s more difficult than most beginners anticipate and much more robust than most professionals imagine. That’s why learning materials are very important in the process of mastering the C++ language.

Documentation is one of the most neglected aspects of a software project, especially C++ Source Code Documenta

tion. It’s important to use some of the best tools for code documentation so as long as your project will be living, someone can come into it, sit at a machine they don’t understand, and go through your code to see what’s going on.

The best code documentation is the one which is well-written, easy to understand and conforms to the coding standards. Often programmers write the documentation for their code, even when it isn’t needed. A lot of times, however, the description of functions, classes, and methods can be too short on details an experienced developer might be looking for.

Writing code documentation is not easy. That’s why many developers don’t even think about documenting their code. The moment they think they’ve written a good piece of code, it’s time to move on to another task. However, if you want the code to be modified and maintained by other people down the road, it’s important to write code documentation. Code should be self-descriptive to make sure that future developers can work with it without a problem. This article describes in detail what documentation for C++ is and also provides tips on how you can start writing your documentation for C++.

End-User Software Documentation

End-user software documentation provides information about how to install, use, or configure a piece of software. This type of documentation helps people understand how to operate a product. End-user documentation can include user guides, tutorials, troubleshooting manuals, and knowledge bases.

There are areas where the lines blur between different types of software documentation, especially when it comes to technical documentation. An example of this is the minimum system requirements for installing a piece of software. Even though it’s considered a technical document, it falls under end-user documentation because it’s written for software users.

1) C++ Primer 5th Edition

C++ Primer (5th Edition) 5th Edition written by Stanley B, introduces the C++ standard library from the outset. It helps you to write useful programs without the need to master every aspect of C++ language. The books cover many examples, and it also demonstrates how to make the best use of them.

This book is ideal for that new developer who wants to know core C++ concepts and techniques. The book helps you to learn through examples that illuminate today’s best coding styles and program design techniques.🔍 Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

2) C++ Pocket Reference 1st Edition

Accelerated C++: Practical Programming, written by Andrew Koenig. This introductory book that takes a practical approach to solve problems using C++. It covers a wide der scope of C++ programming than other introductory books.

The book describes real problems and solutions, not only language features. The book covers the language and standard library together: You will also learn how to use the library right from the start. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

3) C++ in One Hour a Day, Sams Teach Yourself 8th Edition

This book presents the language from a practical point of view. It helps you to learn how to use C++ to create faster, simpler, and more efficient C++ applications. You can understand how C++ features help you write efficient code using concepts like move constructors, lambda expressions, and assignment operators.

The book helps you to learn object-oriented programming concepts such as encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance, and polymorphism. It helps you to learn how you can use Standard Template Library’s algorithms to write feature-rich and stable C++ applications. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

4) C++ All-in-One For Dummies 3rd Edition

C++ All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition is an ideal handbook to C++ programmers. Author John Paul Mueller is a recognized authority in the computer industry which your ultimate guide to C++. This C++ book teaches you how you can work with objects and classes. It helps you to learn advanced coding skill using various C++ concepts.

The book also helps you to discover how lambda expressions can make your code more concise and readable. It also helps you to get work producing code faster and better than ever. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

5) C++: The Complete Reference Fourth Edition

The C++ Pocket Reference is a memory aid for C++ programmers written by Kyle Loudon. This pocket-sized reference book makes an ideal reference book to carry about, ensure that it will be handy when needed.

Information on C++ types and type conversions The syntax for C++ statements and preprocessor directives Arrays, pointers, strings, and expressions, etc. Refreshers on This book also covers concepts of C++ such as namespaces and scope.🔍 Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

6) Starting Out with C++ from Control Structures to Objects plus

This C++ book was written by Tony Gaddis’s accessible. It is step-by-step presentation helps the beginner as well as experienced developers. It helps them to understand important concepts of C++ programming language.

In this book, Gaddis covers control structures, functions, arrays, and pointers before objects and classes. Gaddis texts, clear and easy-to-read code with many practical, real-world examples. MyProgrammingLab for Starting Out with C++ offers homework, assessment program which engages learners. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

7) A Tour of C++ (C++ In-Depth Series) 1st Edition

Bjarne Stroustrup’s book A tour of C++. It offers complete references for C++ core concepts and practical coding to give an experienced programmer to get what constitutes modern C++. This concise book contains a self-contained guide.

The author covers many C++ language features and major standard-library components. The book goes to the extent of the level that gives programmers a meaningful overview of the language, along with key examples and many coding examples which helps you to get started. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

8) Effective Modern C++

Effective Modern C++ is a book written in the form of guidelines and not rules because guidelines have exceptions. The most important part of each Item is not the advice it offers, but the rationale behind the advice. When you’ve read that, you’ll be in a position to determine whether the circumstances of your project justify a violation of the Item’s guidance.

The main goal of this book is to provide a deeper understanding of how things work in C++11 and C++14. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

9) C++ Standard Library, The: A Tutorial And Reference 2Nd Edition

The book offers comprehensive documentation of each library component, which includes an introduction to its purpose and design.

This C++ book covers practical programming details needed for effective use. It also teaches signature, important classes and functions and plenty of examples of working code. The book also covers topic like Standard Template Library (STL), examining containers, iterators, function objects, etc. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

10) Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example 1st Edition

This is an advanced C++ learning book written by Scott Meyers. The book includes topics like The pros and cons of braced initialization, perfect forwarding, except specifications, and smart pointer makes functions. The relationships among std:: move, std:: forward. It also overs techniques which helps you to write correct, useful lambda expressions.

Effective Modern C++ is the most important book to know important C++ concept and guidelines, styles, and idioms to effectively use modern C++ effectively and thoroughly. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

11) More Effective C++

This is an ideal C++ reference book written by Scott Meyers.

It offers many C language reference and teaches C as the subset of C++

This book illustrates the C++ language with good examples throughout. It is highly recommended as a reference book. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

12) Object-Oriented Programming In C++ 4th Edition

Robert Lafore wrote object-oriented Programming in C++. The book starts with the basic principles of the C++ programming language. It gradually introduces increasingly towards advanced topics.

The structure of this book is very much similar to that of the previous Edition. Each chapter in this book is full of ANSI C++ standard, and the examples revised to reflect current practices and standards. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

13) C++ Programming: From Problem Analysis to Program Design 3rd Edition

C++ Programming: From Problem Analysis to Program Design, Third Edition is a book written by D.S. Malik. This programming book also teaches OOD methodology of sorting algorithms. It also teaches how to present additional material on abstract classes.

Moreover, exercise sets are given at the end of each chapter have been expanded, and now contain several calculus and engineering-related exercises. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

14) C++: A Detailed Approach to Practical Coding

A Detail approach to Practical Coding is a second book written by Nathan Clark. The author shares his 20 year’s programming experience in this book. This book serves acts as a teaching guide and also a reference manual to accompany you through this wonderful world of programming.

This second volume covers basic ++ topics like Data Types,Variable Scope, Constants, and Literals, Modifier Types Operators, Numbers, Strings, Classes and Objects, Arrays Pointers, Data Structure, Date and Time, etc. Check Latest Price and User Reviews on Amazon

15) C++17 STL Cookbook

This book helps you to understand the language’s mechanics and library features and offers insight into how they work.

The book takes an implementation-specific, problem-solution approach that helps you resolve such issues. It also covers core STL concepts, like containers, algorithms, lambda expressions, iterators.

How to Learn the C and C++ Languages: The Ultimate List

C is often called a middle-level computer language since it combines the elements of high-level languages with the functionalism of assembly language. C allows the manipulation of bits, bytes, and addresses—giving the programmer more control over exactly how the program will behave and a more direct access to the mechanics of the underlying hardware. C was created, influenced, and field-tested by working programmers. The end result is that C gives the programmer what the programmer wants. C++ is an enhanced version of the C language. C++ includes everything that is part of C and adds support for object-oriented programming (OOP). In addition, C++ also contains many improvements and features that make it a “better C,” independent of object-oriented programming.

The C programming language was originally developed for and implemented on the UNIX operating system by Dennis Ritchie. The C language, which is quite simple, is not tied to any particular hardware or system. This makes it easier for a user to write programs that will run without many (or any) changes on practically all machines.

The C language is often called a middle-level computer language as it combines the elements of high-level languages with the functionalism of assembly language. C programming allows the manipulation of bits, bytes, and addresses—giving the programmer more control over exactly how the program will behave and more direct access to the mechanics of the underlying hardware.

C was created, influenced, and field-tested by working programmers. The end result is that C gives the programmer what the programmer wants.

C++ is an enhanced version of the C language. C++ includes everything that’s part of C and adds support for object-oriented programming (OOP). In addition, C++ also contains many improvements and features that make it a “better C,” independent of object oriented programming.

The C++ language is actually extensible since we can define new types in such a way that they act just like the predefined types which are part of the standard language.

If you just use C++ as a better C, you will not be using all of its power. Like any quality tool, C++ must be used the way it was designed to be used to exploit its richness. Some of the new features include encapsulation, inline function calls, overloading operators, inheritance, and polymorphism.

Why would I want to learn C or C++?

C and C++ are still two of the most popular programming languages out there. The syntax and concepts of C, especially, has stood the test of time, and you can see them being carried on to other popular programming languages, even the modern ones, such as Go.

Even if you are going to build web applications or fancy web front-end components for the rest of your life, learning C will help you understand how software and hardware actually interact.

Besides, C and C++ are everywhere.

C in particular powers a lot more technology than we give it credit for.

On the other hand, some of your favorite software – possibly even the web browser you are reading this article on—is built on C++. Knowing C is a good base, but in many cases, software development will require you to learn C++ and its paradigms.

If you want to develop software that needs to make the most out of a computer’s performance and capabilities—high-end desktop games, sophisticated productivity tools, or complex computationally intensive programs, for instance—or if you just want a programming language that lets you interact with a computer’s hardware directly, C and C++ are the languages for you.

So, why would you not want to learn C++ or C? It’s not like 25 years ago, when you might have had to invest in a proprietary compiler to get started—today you can certainly learn C++ free.

How can I get started with C and C++?

To get started with C or C++, what you’ll want in most cases, at the very least, is a compiler—although nowadays you can also learn C online by experimenting a bit with “hello world” C projects in-browser.

Compilers are programs that can be run through command-line interfaces (CLIs). They read the entire program and convert it into object code, which is a translation of the program source code into a form that the computer can execute directly.

To make life easier, you can go for full-fledged IDEs that can make your experience with C or C++ even more pleasant.

Windows

There are a lot of good compilers available on Windows.

On Windows, Visual Studio provides a C++ compiler.

The compiler can also build C programs.

Visual Studio comes with its own powerful, feature-rich IDE, making it a neat choice for anyone getting started with C or C++ or someone primarily targeting the Windows platform.

If you are looking for something more standard compliant, GCC (MinGW) might be what you need. The Codeblocks IDE works exceptionally well in this setup.

Clang, too, is now a formidable choice on Windows—it’s even used to build Google Chrome nowadays.

Other cross-platform IDEs exist, such as Eclipse CDTJetbrains CLion, and Netbeans, that provide fully functional C and C++ development environments. Lately, however, these are being eclipsed (pardon the irony) by Visual Studio Code, which is also available for Linux and Mac environments.

Linux

If you are on Linux, you probably have GCC installed as a part of your distribution already. If not, installing it should be just a matter of a single command:

# Ubuntu
sudo apt-get install build-essential

# Fedora
sudo yum install gcc gcc-c++

# Arch Linux
sudo pacman -S base-devel

The Codeblocks IDE and Eclipse CDT work equally well on Linux as they do on Windows.

Mac / Mac OS X / OS X / macOS

On a Mac you can use Clang or GCC—both are available for free. While GCC has support for a wider range of C and C++ standards, Clang will work fine for most cases.

Clang should already be installed.

You can install GCC using Homebrew:

brew install gcc

You can use XCode, a great IDE that is a part of the Mac OS developer tools.

What Books to Read to Get Better In C++

Code complete

Code complete C++

There is one book that you need to read in top priority for writing solid code: Code Complete from Steve McConnell. In fact this books teaches you things that go beyond one particular language, and which are relevant to C++ too.

The French translation of this book is the equivalent of “All about the code”, and it says it all. In this book you’ll learn how to write an if statement correctly, how to handle errors in code, how to design classes and modules and how to attribute responsibilities to them. You’ll also learn about comments, code reviews, respecting levels of abstraction and designing interfaces. And about much, much more. It’s all backed up with research papers. Some companies even put Code Complete as mandatory reading for their new joiners.

It’s a big book, but every page is worth it. You’ll never be the same person after reading that book. At least when it comes to coding .

Effective C++

Effective C++

This one is the top priority for writing solid code, but specifically in C++ this time. In Effective C++, Scott Meyers shows how to use the language correctly and to avoid a lot of pitfalls. And most of these pitfalls you can’t guess, even with a fair amount of practice.

Even though the book was written well before C++11 came out, most of its contents are still valid today. It has been complemented (and not replaced) by another book that focuses on Modern C++ practices (see below).

I think that you can’t code seriously in C++ without reading this book. I’d recommend to read it twice to make sure you retain as much as possible from it.

Plus, it is well structured in small items and the writing style of Scott is pleasant to follow.

More Effective C++

More Effective C++

Now that we’ve got those two down, the rest is a matter of getting better at the subject.

More Effective C++ is the sequel of Effective C++. It contains more idioms and pitfalls, and touches upon more sophisticated design problems, such as shared resources,  multiple dispatch and stack versus dynamic memory allocation.

Once again, it was written before C++11, but most of it is still applicable today and has no overlap with the modern versions of the book series.

Conclusion

It is impossible to talk about the best C++ programming tools without mentioning documentation. Documentation is a very important part of software development, and can sometimes make a huge difference between an average and exceptional product. When it comes to programming in C++, you need the right tools for the job: you need to have the right applications at hand, and you need complementary information related to C++. Documentation is one of these tools that are mandatory if you want to develop a solid application in the most efficient manner possible.

The importance of a good code documentation is often underestimated by developers. However, it is one of the most important parts of programming as it saves you quite a large amount of time and nerves when you are facing any problems with the source code later.

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