5.1. Discussion of C++ and These Notes

C++ is a programming language that is an extension of an earlier language, C. For the most part, we will use the C subset of C++ in this course because it provides the tools that we need to explore physical data structures. A few of the language features that we will use are part of C++ but not of C. These notes make no attempt to offer a complete introduction to C++.

Java was designed to share many of its basic features with C++. The original intent was to make Java easy for C++ programmers to learn. But it also works the other way. If you are familiar with Java, you will see familiar things in C++.

Important rule: C++ has a rigid language. Use only features that you have learned. Do not try to make up the language as you go and hope that it is right.

Free form

C++ is a free-form language. That means that

  1. in most places, an end-of-line is treated like a blank;
  2. in most places, any sequence of blanks, tabs or end-of-line characters is treated the same as a single blank.
Normally, you indent your program to make it readable. See the coding standards for how to indent for this course.

Places where the free-form rule is not in effect include

  1. comments that begin with // and end at the end of the line;
  2. string constants, such as "Blanks  matter  here".