Saturday, 1 August 2009

Meyers and Sutter "Quick Lookup"

Lately, I seem to have been having a few chats about the Scott Meyers books (Effective C++, More Effective C++ and Effective STL) and the Herb Sutter books (Exceptional C++, More Exceptional C++ and Exceptional C++ Style). These are popular books among the C++ community and for good reason.

The only problem seems to be remembering exactly which one to pick up when you need to be reminded of the detail of one of the items. Granted, some of the items leave a simple message with you that you don't really need a refresher in (make non-leaf classes abstract, catch exceptions by reference, never use a vector of bools), but others are more subtle (the cost of throwing an exception, making equality operators free functions rather than members, Koenig look up and so on). Maybe there are more indexes out there such as this one that categorise the examples in a helpful manner and make it easy to jump in, but what I really want is a large chart, spreadsheet or web page that has the items from all 6 books in it.

So, maybe my only option is to make one myself... I've gathered all of the contents tables together and see that they are usefully organised in quite similar ways, making my job potentially easier. The first question is what format? Big poster? Web page? Spreadsheet? Document? (Probably the least tractable!) And what to do about example source code: this is very important for some items and probably suggests a web page as a good medium. The next question is what headings to use: broadly follow the headings provided or sub-divide, add? I'm not about to do this first thing on a Saturday morning, so I'll no doubt follow this up in later post.

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