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C++ Network Programming Volume 1

03/11/08

Permalink 09:09:19 pm, by lano1106, 356 words, 1093 views   English (CA)
Categories: C++, TCP/IP

C++ Network Programming Volume 1

C++ Network Programming, Vol. 1: Mastering Complexity with ACE and Patterns, Douglas C. Schmidt, Stephen D. Huston, ISBN: 0201604647

ACE is an amazing C++ application framework to create portable networked applications. I wish that I could praise as much the first volume describing this framework but it has some weaknesses in my opinion. It enumerates one by one the different low-level ACE classes that encapsulates, by using the wrapper facade pattern, the differences in services provided by the supported platforms. These services include sockets, threading, process management and synchronization primitives. One strong point of the book is that it demonstrates how using C++ features (like strong typing and RAII idiom) with ACE classes can make programs safer and less prone to bugs. The book also briefly discusses how to design networked services based on the service requirement. My complain about the book is that it covers many topics but since it does not focus on any of them, unless you are totally new with C++ or TCP/IP applications, it is likely that you will not learn much. You will find the book interesting if:

  • You have not yet seen the benefits of abstracting the implementation from the users with OO encapsulation
  • You have little experience in programming TCP/IP applications

My expectation for this book was that I would learn details about the inner working of the ACE classes. The type knowledge that should have complemented the official documentation provided with the framework. I have found out that it is not really the case. Except for less experienced developers, I think that someone should be able to become able to use all the covered classes in the book with only the documentation coming with the framework. There are few places in the book where I would have like to get this extra information such as in the section on ACE_InputCDR and ACE_OutputCDR or by making sure it is clear for the readers why calling ACE_Handle_Set::sync() is needed after having called select().

I have started to read the second volume and I believe that the second one will fit better my likings as it covers high level patterns built on top of the low-level classes presented in the first volume.

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