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Learn Practical C++ Programming 1995-old is gold

The only way to learn how to program is to write programs. You'll learn a lot more by writing
and debugging programs than you ever will by reading this book. This book contains many
programming exercises, and you should try to do as many of them as possible. When doing the
exercises keep good programming style in mind. Always comment your programs, even if
you're doing the exercises only for yourself. Commenting helps you organize your thoughts,
and commenting your own programs is good practice for when you go into the "real world."
Don't let yourself be seduced by the idea that, "I'm only writing these programs for myself, so I
don't need to comment them." First of all, code that looks obvious to you when you write it can
often be confusing and cryptic when you revisit it a week later. Writing comments also helps
you organize your ideas. (If you can write out an idea in English, you are halfway to writing it
in C++.)
Finally, programs tend to be around far longer than expected. I once wrote a program that was
designed to work only on the computer at Caltech. The program was highly system dependent.
As I was the only one who would ever
use the program, the program would print the following message if I got the command line
?LSTUIT User is a twit
A few years later I was a student at Syracuse University. The secretary at the School of
Computer Science needed a program that was similar to my Caltech listing program, so I
adapted my program for her use. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about my funny little error
Imagine how horrified I was when I came into the Computer Science office and was accosted
by the chief secretary. This lady had so much power she could make the dean cringe. She
looked at me and said, "User is a twit, huh?" Luckily she had a sense of humor, or I might not
be here today.
Sprinkled throughout this book are "broken" programs. Spend the time to figure out why they
don't work. Often the problem is very subtle, such as a misplaced semicolon or using = instead
of ==. These programs let you learn how to spot mistakes in a small program. That way when
you make similar mistakes in a big program, and you will make mistakes, you will be trained to
spot them.

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