Errata for

Bjarne Stroustrup:
The Design and Evolution of C++

Addison­Wesley 1995, ISBN 0-201-54330-3

You find the printing number as the first number on the last line of the copyright page.

I only list things that can affect understanding. Spelling mistakes you can fix yourself if you spot them. I very much appreciate reports of errors and constructive comments on the contents in general.

I will make this errata available via ftp somewhere in AW on

For brevity, I use the old replacement syntax: s/old/new/

- Bjarne

Errata to the first printing

pg32  s/(_temp.impl.rest_)/(sec15.11.3)/

pg64  s/Stratchey/Strachey/

pg67  s/McClusky/McCluskey/

pg78  at the end of sec3.5.3 add

See sec17.5.2 for a way to explicitly request overloading of base and derived class functions.

pg99  replace the last paragraph of with

This rule was the subject of much discussion and was eventually revised to match the rule for declarations in conditions (sec3.11.5.2). That is, a name introduced in a for­statement initializer goes out of scope at the end of the for­statement.

pg164  s/Sing/Singh/

pg190  s/Erathostenes/Eratosthenes/

pg228  s/and surprising/and less surprising/

pg 255  change the definitions of true and TRUE to
const true = 1;
#define TRUE 1
pg343  add after sec15.3.1

Class templates as template arguments were approved at the March 1994 meeting in San Diego.

pg 349  s/lookup<Buffer/lookup(Buffer/

pg 359  replace body of compare function with
for(int i=0; i<str1.length() && i<str2.length(); i++)
        if (!C::eq(str1[i],str2[i]))
                return C::lt(str1[i],str2[i]);
return str2.length()-str1.length();
pg360  s/compare(swede1,swede2,LITERATE)/

pg362  replace the last sentense of 15.9.1 by

Member templates are described in sec15.9.3.

pg364 first line  s/aren't allowed/weren't allowed/

third line from bottom: s/I hope to see member templates in C++.//

pg375  write should be defined like this:
void write(int vv) { v=vv; }
pg389  in comment s/close/open/

pg426  s/syntactically correct/syntactically correct and type check/

Errata to the second printing

pg5  change
      1994  Sep  Draft ANSI/ISO standard due
      1994  Aug  ANSI/ISO Committee Draft registered

pg6  move CLOS to 1988

pg80 at the end of 3.6.1  add

Naturally, I realized that not all constructors defined meaningful and unsurprising implicit conversions. For example, a vector type usually has a constructor taking an integer argument indicating the number of elements. It was an unfortunate side­effect to have v=7 construct a vector of seven elements and assign it to v . I didn't consider this problem urgent, though. Several members of the C++ standards committee (sec6.2), notably Nathan Myers, suggested that a solution was necessary. In 1995, the problem was solved by allowing the prefix explicit to be added to the declaration of a constructor. A constructor declared explicit is used for explicit construction only and not for implicit conversions. For example, declaring vector's constructor ``explicit vector(int);'' makes v=7 an error while the more explicit v=vector(7) as ever constructs and assigns a vector .

pg129  add footnote

In July 1994, the committee voted for ``CD registration'' as the first step of the completion of the ISO process is now called. Scheduling a standard isn't easy. In particular, ``details'' such as what a standard is and how you must make one aren't standardized and seem to change every year.

pg131  add and modify list entries

pg150-152  replace sec6.4.2 with

So how is the committee doing? We won't really know until the standard appears because there is no way of knowing how new proposals will fare. This summary is based on the state of affairs after the November 1994 meeting in Valley Forge.

Proposing extensions for C++ seems to be popular. For example:

There is some hope of restraint and that accepted features will be properly integrated into e language. Only a few new features have been accepted so far:

Exceptions and templates stand out among the extensions as being mandated by the original proposal and described in the ARM, and also by being a couple of orders of magnitudes more difficult to define and to implement than any of the other proposals.

To contrast, the committee has rejected many proposals. For example:

Please note that a rejection doesn't imply that the proposal was deemed bad or even useless. In fact, most proposals that reach the committee are technically sound and would help at least some subset of the C++ user community. The reason is that most ideas never make it through the initial scrutiny and effort to make it into a proposal.

pg157  s/color(green)/Color(green)/

pg194  add footnote

Here, I have the great pleasure of eating my words! The committee did raise to the occasion and approved a splendid library of containers, iterators, and fundamental algorithms designed by Alex Stepanov. This library, often called the STL, is an elegant, efficient, formally sound, and well­tested framework for containers and their use (Alexander Stepanov and Meng Lee: The Standard Template Library, HP Labs Technical Report HPL-94-34 (R. 1), August, 1994. Mike Vilot: An Introduction to the STL Library. The C++ Report, October 94). Naturally, the STL includes map and list classes, and subsumes the dynarray, bits, and bitstring classes mentioned above. In addition, the committee approved vector classes to support numeric/scientific computation based on a proposal from Ken Budge from Sandia Labs.

pg239  s/struct {/struct Y {/

pg241  s/someone sitting on my right/Jim Howard/
delete sentence beginning /Unfortunately, I have forgotten/

pg244  the last code fragment should be
        void h(RefNum r, Num& x)
        r.bind(x);     // error: no Num::bind
        (&r)->bind(x); // ok: call RefNum::bind
pg245  s/RefX/RefNum/

pg246 in example 1,2,3, and 5  swap X and X& in the return types.
in example 4  swap postfix and prefix in the comments.

pg263  s/D { g }/D { g() }/

pg265  s/f(2)/f(2);/

pg274  s/int go_draw/void go_draw/

pg278 end of paragraph near middle of page: 

s/this simple notion/this simple notion directly/

pg283  declare members of B and C public.

pg304  s/S::f/S::mf/

pg332  Replace sentense near the middle by

pd2 will point to the start of the D object passed, whereas
pd1 will point to the start of D 's B sub­object.

pg333  replace example by
const char cc = 'a';
const char* pcc = &cc;
const char** ppcc = &pcc;
void* pv = ppcc; // no cast needed:
		 // ppcc isn't a const, it only points to one,
		 // but const vanished!
char** ppc = (char**)pv; // points to pcc

void f()
	**ppc = 'x'; // Zap!
pg352  s/(B<int>*)d/(B<int>*)pd/

pg359  s/lt()/lt(char a, char b)/

pg389 at the end of the declaration of FilePtr:  s/}/};/

pg396  add to just before the start of sec16.9.1

In 1995, we found a scheme that allows some static checking of exception specifications and improved code generation without causing the problems described above. Consequently, exception specifications are now checked so that pointer to function assignments, initializations, and virtual function overriding cannot lead to violations. Some unexpected exceptions can still occur, and those are caught at run time as ever.

D&E was awarded one of ``Software Development'' Magazine's Productivity awards.

You can find reviews in

Thanks to Bjarne Stroustrup ( for the errata.
Markup, etc. by, corrections and comments welcome.