C++ Idioms by Example

November 27, 2008

I read a lot of code. Often I like what I see, but sometimes I see code that is perfectly OK according to the definition of the language but which is flawed because it breaks too many established idioms and conventions of the language. There are plenty of really good books about this topic, but most of them start at a slightly too advanced level – they assume that the reader already know about the basic stuff.

I have tried to make a little contribution by illustrating some of the really basic C++ idioms and conventions using a contrived but still complete example. Please take a look at this presentation.

When presenting this stuff, I usually hand out the first code snippet to a group of people, then I do online coding while the group suggests improvements and we discuss why it is so. Interesting enough, it seems like we always end up roughly at the same place. This presentation is just one of several paths that might happen when a group decides what to improve or not.