Effective STL: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of the Standard Template Library
C++'s Standard Template Library is revolutionary, but until now, learning to use it well has been a challenge. In this book, best-selling author Scott Meyers exposes critical rules of thumb experts use to get the most out of STL. Using the same clear, concise approach that made Effective C++ so successful, he shows developers exactly how to unravel STL's complexities -- and leverage its full power. The book is organized into 50 guidelines, each followed by specific examples and to-the-point explanations. Meyers offers advice on what should be done, and why -- and what should not be done, and why not.
Table of Content
II. Vector and string
- Choose your containers with care.
- Beware the illusion of container-independent code.
- Make copying cheap and correct for objects in containers.
- Call empty instead of checking size against zero.
- Prefer range member functions to their single-element counterparts.
- Be alert for C++’s most vexing parse.
- When using containers of newed pointers, remember to delete the pointers before the container is destroyed.
- Never create containers of auto_ptrs.
- Choose carefully among erasing options.
- Be aware of allocator conventions and restrictions.
- Understand the legitimate uses of custom allocators.
- Have realistic expectations about the thread safety of STL containers.
III. Associative Containers
- Prefer vector and string to dynamically allocated arrays.
- Use reserve to avoid unnecessary reallocations.
- Be aware of variations in string implementations.
- Know how to pass vector and string data to legacy APIs.
- Use "the swap trick" to trim excess capacity.
- Avoid using vector.
- Understand the difference between equality and equivalence.
- Specify comparison types for associative containers of pointers.
- Always have comparison functions return false for equal values.
- Avoid in-place key modification in set and multiset.
- Consider replacing associative containers with sorted vectors.
- Prefer map::insert to map::operator when efficiency is a concern.
- Familiarize yourself with the nonstandard hashed containers.
- Prefer iterator to const_iterator, reverse_iterator, and verse_iterator.
- Use distance and advance to convert const_iterators to iterators.
- Understand how to use a reverse_iterator's base iterator.
- Consider istreambuf_iterators for character by character input.
VI. Functors, Functor Classes, Functions, etc.
- Make sure destination ranges are big enough.
- Know your sorting options.
- Follow remove-like algorithms by erase if you really want to remove something.
- Be wary of remove-like algorithms on containers of pointers.
- Note which algorithms expect sorted ranges.
- Implement simple case-insensitive string comparisons via mismatch or lexicographical_compare.
- Use not1 and remove_copy_if to perform a copy_if.
- Use accumulate or for_each to summarize sequences.
VII. Programming with the STL
- Design functor classes for pass-by-value.
- Make predicates pure functions.
- Make functor classes adaptable.
- Understand the reasons for ptr_fun, mem_fun, and mem_fun_ref.
- Make sure less means operator
- Prefer algorithm calls to hand-written loops.
- Prefer member functions to algorithms with the same names.
- Distinguish among count, find, binary_search, lower_bound, upper_bound, and equal_range.
- Consider function objects instead of functions as algorithm parameters.
- Avoid producing write-only code.
- Always #include the proper headers.
- Learn to decipher STL-related compiler diagnostics.
- Familiarize yourself with STL-related web sites.
- Don't just learn what's "in" the STL: master its full power!
- Clear, concise, concrete guidelines for using iterators, containers, function objects, algorithms, and more.
- Proven approaches for building optimized, robust, reusable code.