The C++ Standard Library from Scratch

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Foreword by Jesse Liberty

Welcome to Jesse Liberty's Programming From Scratch series. I created this series because I believe that traditional primers do not meet the needs of every student. A typical introductory computer programming book teaches a series of skills in logical order and then, when you have mastered a topic, the book endeavors to show how the skills might be applied. This approach works very well for many people, but not for everyone.

I've taught programming to over 10,000 students: in small groups, large groups, and through the Internet. Many students have told me that they wish they could just sit down at the computer with an expert and work on a program together. Rather than being taught each skill step by step in a vacuum, they'd like to create a product and learn the necessary skills as they go.

From this idea was born the Programming From Scratch series. In each of these books, an industry expert will guide you through the design and implementation of a complex program, starting from scratch and teaching you the necessary skills as you go.

You may want to make a From Scratch book the first book you read on a subject, or you may prefer to read a more traditional primer first and then use one of these books as supplemental reading. Either approach can work: which is better depends on your personal learning style.

All of the From Scratch series books share a common commitment to showing you the entire development process, from the initial concept through implementation. We do not assume you know anything about the subject: From Scratch means from the very beginning, with no prior assumptions.

While I didn't write every book in the series, as Series Editor I have a powerful sense of personal responsibility for each one. I provide supporting material and a discussion group on my Web site (, and I encourage you to write to me at if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you for considering this book.

Jesse Liberty

From Scratch Series Editor

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