The C++ Standard Library: A Tutorial and Reference (2nd Edition)

Category: Programming
Author: Nicolai M. Josuttis
This Year Stack Overflow 1
This Month Stack Overflow 2


by anonymous   2019-07-21

The documentation of the C++ standard library is part of the C++ standard (ISO/IEC 14882:2011). That standard has to be purchased, but recent drafts that only minimally differ from the official standard are available on the homepage of the C++ working group.

Note that the standard is quite terse. A more beginner-friendly introduction to the C++ standard library was written by Nicolai Josuttis.

by anonymous   2019-07-21

There are lots of simple but not flexible ways of doing it. Most of these solution will not leverage istream or ostream. For instance, overloading the << operator is one way. The drawback is that you will have to implement this operator for all the usual types, and for all the standard manipulators, and so on. It may become a great burden.

This is sad because the whole thing about istream and ostream is only to parse and format not to do input or output. The I/O responsibility is given to the streambuf. And your task calls for a custom implementation of streambuf which uses your read and write methods.

The discussion is too long for such a small format as a stackoverflow answer but you can find good pointers in the following references.


  • , this book contains a chapter dedicated to streambuf implementation.


As advised, using boost.iostreams maybe a good fit, but I don't know it enough.

by litb   2017-08-20


Introductory, no previous programming experience

Introductory, with previous programming experience

* Not to be confused with C++ Primer Plus (Stephen Prata), with a significantly less favorable review.

Best practices



Reference Style - All Levels

C++11/14 References:

  • The C++ Standard (INCITS/ISO/IEC 14882-2011) This, of course, is the final arbiter of all that is or isn't C++. Be aware, however, that it is intended purely as a reference for experienced users willing to devote considerable time and effort to its understanding. As usual, the first release was quite expensive ($300+ US), but it has now been released in electronic form for $60US.

  • The C++14 standard is available, but seemingly not in an economical form – directly from the ISO it costs 198 Swiss Francs (about $200 US). For most people, the final draft before standardization is more than adequate (and free). Many will prefer an even newer draft, documenting new features that are likely to be included in C++17.

  • Overview of the New C++ (C++11/14) (PDF only) (Scott Meyers) (updated for C++1y/C++14) These are the presentation materials (slides and some lecture notes) of a three-day training course offered by Scott Meyers, who's a highly respected author on C++. Even though the list of items is short, the quality is high.

  • The C++ Core Guidelines (C++11/14/17/…) (edited by Bjarne Stroustrup and Herb Sutter) is an evolving online document consisting of a set of guidelines for using modern C++ well. The guidelines are focused on relatively higher-level issues, such as interfaces, resource management, memory management and concurrency affecting application architecture and library design. The project was announced at CppCon'15 by Bjarne Stroustrup and others and welcomes contributions from the community. Most guidelines are supplemented with a rationale and examples as well as discussions of possible tool support. Many rules are designed specifically to be automatically checkable by static analysis tools.

  • The C++ Super-FAQ (Marshall Cline, Bjarne Stroustrup and others) is an effort by the Standard C++ Foundation to unify the C++ FAQs previously maintained individually by Marshall Cline and Bjarne Stroustrup and also incorporating new contributions. The items mostly address issues at an intermediate level and are often written with a humorous tone. Not all items might be fully up to date with the latest edition of the C++ standard yet.

  • (C++03/11/14/17/…) (initiated by Nate Kohl) is a wiki that summarizes the basic core-language features and has extensive documentation of the C++ standard library. The documentation is very precise but is easier to read than the official standard document and provides better navigation due to its wiki nature. The project documents all versions of the C++ standard and the site allows filtering the display for a specific version. The project was presented by Nate Kohl at CppCon'14.

Classics / Older

Note: Some information contained within these books may not be up-to-date or no longer considered best practice.